ESPN SportsNation recently posted a poll that asked, “Which is your pick to win the NCAA tournament?” The poll pegged Kentucky (34-0) versus the rest of the field — thus, the Wildcats were stacked up against the remaining 63 teams in the tournament. Currently, 51-percent of America is picking Kentucky to win it all, compared to 49-percent going with the other 63 teams with 729,039 votes already compiled.
I must say that America is correct, with Kentucky just getting the slight edge in my vote as well. There are definitely a few teams in the tournament that could present problems for the Wildcats; however, their size, athleticism, unselfish team play, knock down shooters and suffocating defense will make the difference as Big Blue cuts down the nets at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on April 6.
The electrifying big men playing basketball for head coach John Calipari in the Bluegrass State will make playing the Cats in the NCAA tournament an absolute nightmare. Going shortest to tallest, 6’10” Trey Lyles’ biggest strength is hitting mid-range jump shots — 6’11” Karl Anthony-Towns holds down the fort with his innate ability to block shots and grab critical rebounds and at 7’0″, Willie Cauley-Stein will have you jumping out of your seat with his violent dunks.
In the Kentucky backcourt, the Harrison twins (Aaron and Andrew) handle the ball extremely well, and can light it up at any given time from downtown. Then, you have guards Devin Booker and Tyler Ulis to run the Wildcats’ offense as well as break the full-court press of any team Big Blue will face.
There are a handful of potential Kentucky opponents that could beat them in a one-game scenario, thus is the case with the NCAA tournament. I see only Arizona, Villanova and Duke having a legitimate opportunity to dethrone mighty Kentucky. What do you think?
If this were to happen, they would need to catch the Wildcats on an off night — and even if they do, Kentucky has proven that they can win with late game grit after poor performances. If any of the teams in the field had to play the Cats in a seven-game series (NBA format), they would simply have zero chance at winning.
Well, I guess it is possible to beat Kentucky, but good luck to the rest of the field with Big Blue standing in front of you.
Look for Kentucky to go 40-0 for the first time in the school’s remarkable history — a perfect 40-0 season will give the program their ninth national championship.
*Section Photo credit to Pat Lovell, USA Today Sports; Featured Photo (above) credit to The Big Lead