The looks on their faces seemed to be more of relief than elation. Pegged as one of two overwhelming favorites in October (North Carolina being the other), and the prohibitive favorite entering the NCAA tournament, a season without a national title would have been a disappointment for the Kentucky Wildcats.
The question of what can be learned from a prior regular season meeting can be a tricky one, especially when there's been so much time in between meetings. No. 1 seed Kentucky (37-2) and No. 2 seed Kansas (32-6) will meet on Monday night for the national title, a rematch of their November 15th meeting at the Champions Classic in New York.
(1) Kentucky vs. (2) Kansas: National Championship
Recently CHN writer Jon Teitel spent some time with one of the voices of the Final Four, CBS color commentator Clark Kellogg. But Kellogg was also an outstanding player, having won a Big Ten Player of the Year award at Ohio State in 1982. His son Nick is a member of the Ohio team that won the MAC tournament and reached the Sweet 16 before losing to North Carolina last week.
Just before the NCAA tournament began CHN writer Jon Teitel spent some time with Kentucky head coach John Calipari, whose Wildcats take on Louisville on Saturday in a national semifinal. Calipari has won more than 500 games at three stops: Massachusetts, Memphis and Kentucky.
Jon Teitel: In 2009 you were hired at Kentucky, where you became the second coach to ever lead three different schools to a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament. How have you been able to have so much success despite coaching at several different schools?
(1) Kentucky vs. (4) Louisville
(2) Ohio State vs. (2) Kansas