The 2012 iteration of March Madness ended in the most logical way possible: John Calipari cutting down a basketball net in New Orleans. The Kentucky Wildcats, college basketball’s best regular season team, beat the Kansas Jayhawks, 67-59 Monday night to win the NCAA National Championship. The victory gives Kentucky its eighth such championship in school history, marking the first time the Wildcats have won since 1998.
Smart jokes about Kentucky’s stacked roster are sure to float around the web over the next couple of days, but for now, let’s focus on what happened on the court. Kentucky whooped on a strong but overmatched Kansas squad, erasing what little doubt there may have been about their roster. In all likelihood, Kentucky will put five players in the first round of the draft over the next year or two; even with POY Anthony Davis suffering a bad offensive night, (six points on 1-10 shooting), Kentucky’s first round roulette proved too much for the Jayhawks, who allowed Doron Lamb to go off for 22 points. Combine this with the Wildcats’ typically strong defense, and it’d be hard to imagine a world in which the Jayhawks won. They could play 10 more times, and Kentucky would win at least eight of those match-ups.
Looking forward, it’ll be interesting to see what happens to both the UK roster and its head coach. At this point, all five starters – along with top reserve Darius Miller – could be headed to the NBA, and Coach Calipari might not be far behind should a pro team throw enough cash at him. Regardless, this year’s Kentucky squad will have to be remembered as one of the best teams in recent memory, their dominant legacy set in stone.