Who/When: No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats vs. No. 4 Louisville Cardinals, Saturday, 6:09 p.m. (CBS)
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans
Announcers: Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg
How They Got Here: Kentucky beat No. 16 Western Kentucky, 81-66, No. 8 Iowa State, 87-71, No. 4 Indiana, 102-90, and No. 3 Baylor, 82-70; Louisville defeated No. 13 Davidson, 69-62, No. 5 New Mexico, 59-56, No. 1 Michigan State, 57-44, and No. 7 Florida, 72-68.
Coaches: John Calipari (503–152 overall, 100-14 in three seasons at Kentucky); Rick Pitino (616–227 overall, 262–99 in 11 seasons at Louisville)
Kentucky in the Final Four:
Overall: 15th appearance
Last Appearance: 2011, lost to UConn., 56-55, in national semifinals
Last Championship: 1998, defeated Utah, 78–69
Number of Titles: 7 (1948, 1949, 1951, 1958, 1978, 1996, 1998)
Louisville in the Final Four:
Overall: 9th appearance
Last Appearance: 2005, lost to Illinois, 72-57, in national semifinals
Last Title: 1986, defeated Duke, 72-69
Number of Titles: 2 (1980, 1986)
Kentucky's View: The Wildcats cruised pretty easily through the first four games of the tournament, paced by their killer combination of Anthony Davis, Doron Lamb, Terrence Jones, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist — who could match many NBA rosters in terms of talent. They've got a great offense and defense, are playing with poise and composure (considering there are only four juniors and seniors on the entire roster and none in the starting line-up). The team simply has been better than every opponent this season. But it has lost two games — and that's the rub on a single-elimination tournament. They might be the best team every time they play, but a Final Four is so much more than just what happens on the court. It's the battle of the coaches, the friends and family in the stands and, in this case, the animosity between two schools they occupy the same state and have two crazy-mad fan bases. There's no doubting that UK has everything it takes to win the title, but there are many other factors it must battle — including the fact that it lost the last time it entered New Orleans as the overwhelming favorite: that came in the SEC tournament title game to Vanderbilt, 71-64.
Louisville's View: If the Cardinals are going to beat the Wildcats, a few things need to happen. One, their defense must play the best game it has played all season. Louisville held Michigan State to 28.6 percent shooting and just 18 first-half points while Draymond Green scored just 13 points. Kentucky's Anthony Davis is better than Green and the Wildcats have a more potent and balanced scoring attack than the Spartans. But the Cardinals have a mix of tricks that can totally confuse the Wildcats and Pitino is doing his best Bill Belichick impression when it comes to defensive wizardry. The biggest test, believe it or not, for Louisville is going to come on offense, as the Cardinals are not a scoring machine and the Wildcats have a very good defense.
Quotable: "There will be people at Kentucky that will have a nervous breakdown if they lose to us. You've got to watch. They've got to put the fences up on bridges. There will be people consumed by Louisville." – Rick Pitino after capturing the West Regional Final
What I Expect: This game will come down to the battle when Kentucky has the ball. If the Cardinals can slow down the Wildcats, which I think is feasible, then it'll be lower scoring and slower in tempo. But Louisville just doesn't have enough weapons to completely shut down Kentucky the way it did to Michigan State. They were fortunate to vanquish Florida — and Kentucky is much better than the Gators.
Prediction: Kentucky returns to the national championship game.