Ohio State had Kansas right where the Buckeyes wanted them.
Down nine at halftime and struggling to generate any offense.
Those who watched the first 20 minutes of the game would have had a hard time envisioning a Jayhawks comeback, but that's exactly what we witnessed as Kansas rallied for a 64-62 win and now gets its chance at a Kentucky team that was the heavy favorite when March Madness started and has shown few weaknesses in its five tournament wins to reach the title game.
It was frustrating watching Ohio State struggle as much in the second half as did Kansas in the first 20 minutes. Give the Jayhawks and coach Bill Self credit for making adjustments and executing them. Saturday's game was just another reminder that the only score that matters is the final.
So now we have a UK-KU final in which the Wildcats are a solid 6-point favorite. Kentucky is a massively talented team that sometimes doesn't play like one, but that is the only knock I can make on the Wildcats.
Sure, I can fill the rest of the column ripping coach John Calipari for recruiting freshmen that likely will stay just one year before joining the NBA draft, but it is his right to do so and it's hard to argue with his success, although he is still seeking his first championship.
What we have is a matchup of two of college basketball's storied programs.
Kansas has won eight straight Big 12 regular season championships and has three national championship banners in the Phog Allen Fieldhouse, where the Jayhawks have won 683 games while losing just 107.
Kentucky, meanwhile, has seven national titles, second only to the 11 won by UCLA. The legendary Adolph Rupp won four times, with Joe B. Hall, Rick Pitino and Tubby Smith each winning one.
While we are witnessing a change in the balance of power in professional basketball, such is not the case in the college ranks.
In fact, March Madness didn't really live up to its name this year as the Final Four not only was quite predictable but included four schools that had won previous championships. There were a few upsets in the 68-team field, but no Cinderella stories emerged.
Tonight's game reunites the two coaches who led their teams to the 2008 title game, when Self's Kansas team beat Calipari's Memphis squad in overtime.
Self is one of those low-key coaches who doesn't get the media attention afforded many of his less successful counterparts. But his accomplishments speak volumes about his coaching ability and his team's ability to come from behind -as evidenced both in the 2008 title game and again on Saturday night -are a testament to his coaching.
Kentucky rightfully has earned the role of favorite. But it is playing a dangerous underdog in Kansas.
If you don't tune in tonight, it's likely you are going to miss a good one.
Contact Dave Poe at firstname.lastname@example.org