It started with 68 teams trying to realize a dream. Now we're down to four squads desperate to take home the hardware after coming so far.
The 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament has been one of the most competitive and thrilling in recent memory. It's been an incredible journey for the Louisville Cardinals, Kentucky Wildcats, Ohio State Buckeyes and Kansas Jayhawks. The tourney has come to its final destination and has four great teams ready to go for it all.
For an updated NCAA bracket, click here.
Every one of these teams have earned their way to New Orleans in a different way. Louisville wasn't expected to be here, but after surprising Michigan State in the Sweet Sixteen and fighting from 11 down in the latter stages of the second half against Billy Donovan and Florida, Rick Pitino's kids have shown serious mental toughness.
Kentucky has blitzed its adversaries, taking down Indiana and Baylor in convincing fashion last week. The Wildcats are the large and deserving favorites to win the title for the first time since 1998. However, an Bluegrass state battle with Louisville will be a massive hurtle, especially considering the discord between John Calipari and Pitino.
Ohio State has played wonderful basketball once again under Thad Motta. After beating a very game Gonzaga team, Jared Sullinger and the Buckeyes took care of Cincinnati and then the No.1 seeded Syracuse Orange to win the East bracket. No team has a better mix of experience and ability.
Kansas is a team that has stunned many experts all year. Thomas Robinson has led the Jayhawks most of the season. Tyshawn Taylor put on an incredible show that included 22 points to beat a dinged up Tar Heels team. Give Bill Self credit, he continues to show what a phenomenal coach he's become.
The schedule for the Final Four is as follows:
(4) Louisville vs. (1) Kentucky 6:09 p.m. ET on CBS
(2) Kansas vs. (2) Ohio State 8:49 p.m. ET on CBS