Final Four 2012: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Other Studs to Watch

Brad Grim@@bradgrimContributor IIIMarch 26, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 25:  Michael Kidd-Gilchrist #14 of the Kentucky Wildcats celebrates their 82 to 70 win over the Baylor Bears during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball South Regional Final at the Georgia Dome on March 25, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. Kidd-Gilchrist was named most outstanding player.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Final Four is set as Kentucky, Louisville, Ohio State and Kansas will battle it out in New Orleans for the national championship. Historically, the Final Four has been a premiere showcase event for NBA talent. This year is no exception and without further ado, let's take a look at some of the studs to watch in the Final Four.


Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: Forward, Kentucky

Kidd Gilchrist is one of Kentucky's fabulous freshman and has become a lockdown defender as well as a reliable scoring threat. He received first-team All-SEC, SEC All-Freshman team and SEC All-Defensive team honors. 

Kidd-Gilchrist wasn't much of an offensive factor in Kentucky's first couple of games, but the former McDonald's All-American exploded for 24 points against Indiana and added 19 against Baylor. With three and a half minutes left in the first half against Baylor, Kidd-Gilchrist had as many points as Baylor's entire team. He is expected to be among the top-five picks in the 2012 NBA draft if not the top-three.


Thomas Robinson: Power Forward, Kansas

Robinson has been a monster in the paint for Kansas all year and the NCAA tournament is certainly no exception. Robinson recorded a double-double in three of his five tournament games, and in the other two games he missed a double-double by one rebound. Robinson was the Big 12's Player of the Year and he is one of the two front-runners for the NCAA Player of the Year Award along with Anthony Davis.


Deshaun Thomas: Power Forward, Ohio State

While the other member of Ohio State's front court, Jared Sullinger, receives more attention, Thomas has been the biggest reason why the Buckeyes are going to New Orleans. Thomas went on an absolute tear in the final quarter of the season and has carried his success into the NCAA tournament. His performance was rewarded with a second-team All-Big Ten selection. The sophomore forward is averaging over 22 points and almost nine rebounds per game in the tournament. Sullinger and Thomas have turned into a dynamic duo that will be hard to stop in New Orleans.


Peyton Siva: Point Guard, Louisville

The only guard to make the list, Siva has been essential as Louisville's floor general throughout the season. Kendall Marshall's injury proved how important point guards are as North Carolina simply wasn't the same. Siva is just as important to Louisville and is the main distributor in a very balanced Louisville offense.

Siva is averaging over seven assists per game in the tournament and was selected to the first-team All-Big East and was the Big East tournament's Most Outstanding Player. Siva is among the quickest players in the nation and if he can stay out of foul trouble, Louisville will be a scary team.