Joe Santoro: Kentucky too tough to take down in NCAA Tournament
March 29, 2012
Can anybody beat the Kentucky Wildcats? Not this year. The Wildcats should roll over Louisville on Saturday and either Kansas or Ohio State on Monday to win their first NCAA Tournament title since 1998. Kentucky coach John Calipari is like a fantasy sports owner, drafting nearly a new team every year. Call them the Kentucky Rent-A-Center Wildcats. The Fat Cats go against everything that college sports is supposed to be about. You know, the heartwarming story of the kid who works hard for four years to get his degree and plays basketball simply because he loves his school, his classmates, teammates and alumni and the game he learned as a kid shooting jump shots on a gravel driveway. There is nothing heartwarming about Kentucky basketball. But donand#8217;t blame Calipari. His job is to win basketball games and, well, four-year players will get you 20 wins and an NIT spot at best.
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The pick here is Kansas over Ohio State. Kansasand#8217; size with Jeff Withey and Thomas Robinson, as well as their talented guards Tyshawn Taylor and Elijah Johnson, should be enough to hold off the Buckeyes and Jared Sullinger. Johnson is also a nice Nevada story, having played at Cheyenne High down in Las Vegas. Ohio State, too, nearly had a nice Nevada story. Former Galena High and Wolf Pack star Luke Babbitt originally committed to the Buckeyes and this would have been his senior year.
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You canand#8217;t find four more basketball tradition-rich schools than Kentucky, Louisville, Ohio State and Kansas. There are no Cinderella stories in this Final Four. Itand#8217;s just a bunch of multi-millionaire head coaches and their basketball factory schools looking to get richer. Sort of brings a tear to your eye, doesnand#8217;t it?
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and#8212; Joe Santoro writes a weekly sports column for the Sierra Nevada Media Group.