- Associated Press - Monday, April 2, 2012

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A look at Monday night’s national championship game:

KENTUCKY (37-2) vs. KANSAS (32-6)

KENTUCKY

ROAD TO THE TITLE GAME

No. 1 Kentucky beat No. 16 Western Kentucky 81-65; No. 8 Iowa State 87-71; No. 4 Indiana 102-90; No. 3 Baylor 82-70; No. 4 Louisville 69-61.

STAR

Freshman Anthony Davis lived up to his billing as national player of the year with 18 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks in the win over Louisville. He was 7 of 8 from the field and added to his personal highlight reel with a one-handed dunk off an alley-oop pass and a flying leap off the court and over a row of media. One real positive was the way he called for the ball in the post in the second half as the Wildcats struggled from the perimeter.

COACH

This will be John Calipari’s second championship game. His first was with Memphis four years ago _ an overtime loss to Kansas and coach Bill Self. Calipari’s strategy of not fouling with the lead before a 3-point shot could be attempted was questioned as Mario Chalmers buried a late 3 to tie the game and force overtime. Calipari did win the last meeting against Self, 75-65, at Madison Square Garden in the second game of the season.

KEY POINT

Kentucky’s roster is still loaded with NBA-level talent, but the Wildcats didn’t look like the offensive juggernaut it had been throughout the NCAA tournament, failing to reach the 80-point mark for the first time. But the defense was just as good, if not better, holding Louisville to 34.8 percent shooting from the field, a stat the Wildcats led the nation in this season. One player who will be looking to make amends will be freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist who was limited to 23 minutes because of foul trouble but still managed a couple of big dunks as the Wildcats took control in the final minutes.

KANSAS

ROAD TO THE TITLE GAME

No. 2 Kansas beat No. 15 Detroit 65-50; beat No. 10 Purdue 63-60; No. 11 North Carolina State 60-57; No. 1 North Carolina 80-67; beat No. 2 Ohio State 64-62.

STAR

Story Continues →