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Final Four 2012, Kentucky: How The Wildcats Got Here

The Kentucky Wildcats haven't played single-digit deficit game since falling 71-64 to the Vanderbilt Commodores in the Southeastern Conference tournament.

Since then, the No.1-ranked team in the country has been on a terror, showing that it deserves to be considered elite and certainly finalist as well. After all, that loss to Vanderbilt was only Kentucky's second loss of the season, in which the first came on a ridiculous shooting night in December by the Indiana Hoosiers who still need a buzzer-beater to win the game.

No other teams have had such luck with the Wildcats this season and definitely not any of these tournament teams. Western Kentucky tried to give the Wildcats a run in the first round on March 15, but to no avail. Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb combined for 38 points in that game, with both players scoring more than their season average. Anthony Davis was there for Kentucky too, putting up 16 points and nine rebounds.

Iowa State Cyclones weren't bad to watch this season, but they ran into the brick wall that is the Kentucky Wildcats, just like the other squads, but this in the second round. Kentucky romped Iowa State, 87-71.

The rematch victory against the Hoosiers where Kentucky went off and scored 102 points is still fresh in the memory bank. So is that uninspiring effort that the Baylor Bears put up against the Wildcats in the Elite Eight on Sunday.

Point is, Kentucky went through the specific protocol of becoming a contender in the Final Four, however, it seems as if the Wildcats have been here all season.

Read more on March Madness as the road to the national championship continues by checking out the SB Nation NCAA basketball hub page.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.