The Final Four gives us two rematches from the regular season on Saturday: Ohio State vs. Kansas and Kentucky vs. Louisville. Should the pieces fall just right on April 2, it’s distinctly possible we could have a Kentucky-Kansas clash in the NCAA Championship game.

So what can these early-season encounters tell us about what is to come over the course of the next week? Even though both Final Four matchups have already occurred this season, the likelihood that we can glean anything from those games is slim for various reasons.

When Ohio State faced Kansas this past December, the Jayhawks beat the Buckeyes by 11 on their home court at the Phog Allen Fieldhouse. That being said, some guy by the name of Jared Sullinger didn’t play that night. Sullinger is a huge part of the OSU offensive and defensive efforts, evidenced by being named the Most Outstanding Player of the East region, so this one could play out quite differently.

For each team, you can pretty much throw out any confidence or moral victories from the first game. Ohio State will feel good about getting to play on a neutral floor and the fact that they will have Sullinger in this game, while Kansas just took out a number one seed in North Carolina. Even though the victory was against a Tar Heel squad without star point guard Kendall Marshall, Saturday will most likely be a shoot-out.

In that respect, Kansas should be sweating heading into this matchup. Outside of Kentucky, there is no team playing better basketball down the stretch than Ohio State. Not even Louisville that has won eight straight games dating back to the beginning of the Big East tournament.

The Buckeyes looked poised to drop early in the Big Dance after going just 6-4 in its final 10 games before the NCAA tournament, but the inconsistent and unsure nature OSU portrayed before the tournament is now replaced by confidence, which helped it win its first four tournament games by an average of 12 points per game and gain a victory over top-seeded Syracuse.

Kansas, on the other hand, has stumbled its way through the entire tournament, barely avoiding the major potholes. Sure, Kansas beat Detroit by 15 in their opening round, but the Jayhawks were a Robbie Hummel heave away from having to play overtime against a hungry Purdue squad. And while Stilman White filled in for injured-Kendall Marshall admirably, UNC can’t play its transition game without Marshall, giving Kansas a huge handicap in that game.

If the Jayhawks are going to earn a title game appearance, Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson will have to have career games to combat Sullinger and company. As of now, Ohio State looks to have the upper hand on Saturday.

How about Kentucky-Louisville and the battle for the Bluegrass State? Good luck to Rick Pitino coaching Louisville to a win in this one. There hasn’t been a team like Kentucky built top to bottom with this much talent since the 2005 North Carolina team that featured the likes of Raymond Felton, Rashad McCants, Sean May and Marvin Williams.

Louisville should feel fortunate to have only lost by seven to Kentucky on New Year’s Eve, when freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored a team-high 24 points and collected 19 rebounds. Somehow, the Cardinals were able to hold the Wildcats to 29.8 percent shooting in that game, but UK balanced itself by attempting a ridiculous 43 free throw attempts, making 32 of them. It also seems unlikely that Louisville sophomore Russ Smith will score 30 points again.

Defensively, these two teams are evenly matched. The Wildcats rank first in field goal percentage defense at 37.5 percent and Louisville third at 38 percent, but offensively there is little comparison between the two squads. Louisville is ranked 220th in the country, shooting just 42.5 percent from the field, while Kentucky ranks eighth at 48.8 percent.

In the NCAA tournament, the margin is even wider. The Cardinals are shooting just 41.9 percent from the field, whereas the Wildcats are shooting an incredible 53 percent from the floor. Not to mention that in just four NCAA tournament games, Kentucky has attempted 128 free throws, making 98 of them (76.6 percent).

The numbers don’t match up well for Louisville, and the players on the floor certainly don’t either. The early lines have Kentucky as an eight and a half point favorite. Get your bets in now, because this one could be a blood bath. They may call it March Madness for a reason, but based on how the four remaining teams are playing right now, it’s looking like a Kentucky-Ohio State final is in our future.

Brett is a senior majoring in journalism. Think Kentucky and Ohio State will be playing in the national title game? Tell Brett why or why not by tweeting him at @BAsportswriter or sending him an email at [email protected]