- John Gasaway, ESPN Insider
When Bill Self and John Calipari coached against each other in the 2008 NCAA title game, Kansas (Self's team) and Memphis (Calipari's) really did seem to me to be the two best teams in the country. (Even though that year's overall No. 1 seed was actually North Carolina.) As we all know, the Jayhawks won that game after Mario Chalmers' 3-pointer with two seconds left sent the contest to overtime.
This year, however, the title-game matchup between Self's KU squad and Calipari's Kentucky team feels different to me. Mind you, I have the utmost respect for the Jayhawks' ability. For one thing I picked them to make it this far. Furthermore I was at least mildly surprised that this Kansas team wasn't given a No. 1 seed.
Clearly I view KU as one of the very best teams in the country. I just happen to think this year there's a clear gap between Kentucky and the next tier of teams. I saw that gap in performance between the Wildcats and everyone else during the regular season, and it's persisted into the NCAA tournament. That's why I, along with a good many others, expect the Wildcats to win the national championship.