SCOUTING REPORT: Kentucky's size, speed and scoring ability from anywhere on the court presents nightmarish problems for most opponents. The Wildcats are the best transition team in the country and also hold opponents to a nation-best 37.5 percent shooting. Terrence Jones is a streaky player, but when he's playing well Kentucky is all but unbeatable. Anthony Davis, of course, is a shot-blocking fiend with his 7-foot-5 wingspan but has improved offensively during the course of the season. Louisville has trouble generating points but has won of late with a stingy 2-3 zone defense that likes to funnel traffic inside toward center Gorgui Dieng, who averages more than three blocks a game.
KEY TO THE GAME: Both teams need to keep their big men out of foul trouble. Dieng averages 32 minutes a game but needs to play close to 40 for Louisville to stay in the game. He has fouled out of five games this year. Louisville point guard Peyton Siva is fast — Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo called him "out of control in control" — but Louisville can't win a track meet so Siva must control the game's pace. Louisville wants to grind out the game and force Kentucky to make 3-pointers.
SCOUTING REPORT: Ohio State's 78-67 loss at Kansas on Dec. 10 comes with a huge asterisk because the Buckeyes' best player, Jared Sullinger, sat out the game with back spasms. Sullinger has made 27 free throws in four NCAA tournament games, the most of any player in the field. Sullinger's inside matchup with Kansas' Thomas Robinson may require a boxing judge and a cut man. Kansas wants to run more than Ohio State, a half-court team. On defense, Buckeyes guard Aaron Craft is a great on-ball defender. Kansas played mostly man to man in the regular season but has effectively used a triangle-and-two zone defense at key moments to win close NCAA games. Kansas really hadn't played that well in three NCAA wins, two by a total of six points, and got to play North Carolina minus star guard Kendall Marshall.
KEY TO THE GAME: The question is whether Kansas star guard Tyshawn Taylor and Ohio State guard William Buford can play like stars. Taylor broke out of his scoring slump with 22 points in the regional final win over North Carolina but is 0 for 17 from three-point range in the tournament. Buford has not shot more than 50 percent in any of Ohio State's four NCAA wins and has made only 13 of 44 attempts in the tournament. Buford, who is Ohio State's fourth all-time leading scorer, was four for 20 in the Boston regional.