After Siva made a pair of free throws, Jones scored on a jumper and Darius Miller drilled a 3 — only Kentucky's second of the game — to give the Wildcats control for good.
"They were the better team today," Siva said.
Just to make sure Louisville didn't get any wild notions about another late comeback, Kidd-Gilchrist threw down a monstrous dunk with 1:05 to play that had Kentucky fans on their feet and assistant coaches from Kansas and Ohio State scrambling to try and find a way to stop this juggernaut.
Kentucky shot a dazzling 57 percent — yes, that's right — with Davis leading the way. He missed just one of his eight shots and finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds, and let his play speak for itself, not showing any emotion until those closing seconds of the game.
"Anthony Davis is just the No.1 player in the draft," Pitino said of the 19-year-old freshman, who has won just about every player of the year award there is. "When you're playing against Bill Russell on the pro level, you realize why the Celtics won 11 world championships."
Miller added 13 points, and Doron Lamb had 10. Kidd-Gilchrist had nine, all in the second half.
Siva led the Cardinals with 11 points, and Gorgui Dieng had 12 rebounds.
"I told the guys, 'Look, I'm going to Miami tomorrow and celebrating a season where we worked around the clock, around injuries and everything else. If you guys don't celebrate and have good, clean fun, you're fools,'" Pitino said.
The Kentucky-Louisville rivalry causes tempers to flare even in December when, in the grand scheme of things, games really don't mean much. Heck, it took government intervention just to get the two schools to play on a regular basis back in the 1980s.
With the NCAA title game on the line, the latest skirmish in basketball's version of the civil war so divided the small hoop-crazed state that senior citizens actually came to fisticuffs. But boy, did it make for a great show. The game was such a big deal that No. 1 Kentucky fan Ashley Judd wasn't even the biggest celeb in the house, with Jay-Z taking a prime seat behind the Kentucky bench.
"It's our fans; our fans are great to us," Davis said. "Our fans travel a long way. We want to go out here and give them a show and give them what they want, which is a national championship."
The ultimate bragging rights sure are a nice way to start.
Kentucky is 19-11 since the teams resumed playing in 1983-84, with the Wildcats winning four straight, including a 69-62 victory at Rupp Arena on Dec. 31 — almost the exact score as Saturday night's win.
The Wildcats know they're talented — there are three, maybe as many as five NBA lottery picks on the Kentucky roster — but they play without ego or cockiness, choosing instead to let their superior play overwhelm their opponents.
The Cardinals had skidded into the Big East tournament with four losses in their last six games, including back-to-back defeats to end the regular season. Pitino told his players they could either go home after the first week of the tournament or they could do something special — their choice.
The Cardinals chose the latter, ripping off four wins in four days to win the Big East tournament and ousting No. 1 seed Michigan State in the West Regional semifinals. Then came that comeback against rough-and-tumble Florida.
Those games hardened the Cardinals, and they promised they weren't simply happy to reach the Final Four. But they sure looked it early on, getting off to a slow, sloppy start. It didn't help that Dieng looked petrified of Davis and Siva was playing at hyperspeed, a pace Pitino has been trying to get him to tone down all year.
When they tried to go inside, Davis was less forgiving than a bouncer at a Hollywood club. When the Cardinals went outside, the Wildcats swarmed and forced them to take off-balance shots. Meanwhile, on the other end, Kentucky scored at will, repeatedly picking on Siva and Dieng.