Baylor vs Kentucky Pick 2012 NCAA Tournament Elite 8 Preview
Two of the four top seeds have made it safely into the Final Four with the No.1 ranked Kentucky trying to become the third. After avenging their only loss of the season, the Wildcats will face a tough opponent in the Baylor Bears Sunday afternoon.
“It was a war and Indiana played great,” said UK coach John Calipari after beating the Hoosiers, 102-90. “We just happened to play a little bit better.”
The Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA, will be the site for this exiting Regional Final, with the winner earning a trip to New Orleans to play in next Saturday’s National Semifinals. According to 2012 NCAA Tournament Elite 8 oddsmakers, Kentucky is a -7½-point favorite to defeat Baylor and the OVER/UNDER is set at a combined total of 148 points.
Despite having five players score in double-figures, the Wildcats proved to be better than Indiana when it counted most. With 5 players of its own in double-digit-scoring, Kentucky was led by M. Kidd-Gilchrist’s 24-point, 10-rebound night.
Some of the biggest discrepancies in this game came at the free-throw stripe and the rebound columns. The Wildcats did a much better job of attacking the basket, as they shot 20 more free throws than their counterparts by going 35-for-37 from the line. Indiana shot just 13-of-17 from the charity stripe.
“It’s not any big deal,” Kidd-Gilchrist said. “We’re just taking our time with free throws.”
Another area in which Kentucky was dominant was in the rebounding category. UK outrebounded Indy 37 to 28 with 14 of those coming on the offensive end of the floor. It’s very tough to beat a team with as much talent as Calipari’s bunch by giving second and third shot opportunities.
“I feel like we did a pretty good job,” said Kentucky’s Darius Miller. “So did Indiana. It was a very intense game. It was up and down for the most part. It was a fun game to be a part of, the way that both teams played.”
In Baylor, the Wildcats will face a team that’s coming off a huge victory over Xavier in the regional semifinals. Senior power forward Quincy Acy was unstoppable against the Musketeers, recording a double-double, 20 points and 15 rebounds on the win. Acy did a great job of picking his spots with Brady Heslip struggling from the perimeter, putting him team one win away from the coveted Final Four.
“I think I got a little of that magic from him,” Acy said referring to his Heslip. “We’re just looking forward to go a little farther and make a little history.”