Cultures Collide in The Big Easy

April 2, 2012

College Basketball, Features

Rock Chalk Jayhawk, Big Blue Nation, Adolph Rupp, Ted Owens. Names not only synonymous with college basketball but two of the most prestigious institutions in NCAA Basketball, Kentucky and Kansas.

With these two teams colliding in the finals tonight in New Orleans, a lot is on the line. The most important being culture.

This is does not have the makings of the first championship encounter of Bill Self and John Calipari in 2008. That matchup of Kansas and Memphis was composed of  two highly talented teams that produced one of the greatest games in NCAA history. It’s arguable that the only big names here consist of Anthony Davis, Thomas Robinson both future NBA forwards, and the two coaches respectively.

However what is on the line is pride for two programs that haven’t had much championship success lately despite their regular season dominance throughout the years. Kansas does have a 2008 title to boast, but after being ranked the overall number one seed in 2010 and a number one seed again in 2011 they failed to reach the final four in each of those seasons, including the 2010 upset by  Northern Iowa in the second round.

Kentucky hasn’t appeared in the National Championship game since winning it in 1998 over Utah. The 14 year drought will end tonight, but as the overall number 1 seed anything less than a win tonight will be viewed a disappointment.

So the question is now, who has the most to lose tonight? The obvious answer being Kentucky, embedded in SEC country and having a football team that is irrelevant at best, basketball is what they hang their hat on. However the University of Florida with great tournament runs, and three championship appearances in the last 14 years, two of them resulting in championships have really put a huge dent in Kentucky’s armor.

A win tonight will bring Kentucky back in the spotlight, but don’t count Kansas out. Bill Self has navigated his team led by ZERO McDonald All-Americans this far, and will look to utilize the “team first” philosophy to his 2nd National Championship. The Focus for Kansas will to not be discouraged early, and keep up the offense. Kentucky will be putting points up regardless of Self’s defensive game plan.

Prediction: Kentucky 82, Kansas 74

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About Stefan Jagot

22-year-old Broadcasting and Cinematic Arts Major at Central Michigan University. The jack of all trades for

View all posts by Stefan Jagot


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