25 February 2015

Why Kentucky will enter the NCAA Tournament undefeated

(AP)
It has been the top story of the college basketball season as the weeks count down until the 2015 NCAA Tournament: will Kentucky be undefeated entering the tournament? It has been four decades since we have had back-to-back seasons with teams entering the NCAA's without a loss but here is why Kentucky is going to break that trend and have an unblemished record this year.

The Wildcats only have four games remaining before the SEC Tournament as they play Mississippi State tonight in Starkville, host Arkansas on Saturday, at Georgia next Tuesday night and then close against Florida. However, only two of those teams have winning records in Arkansas and in Georgia and considering how inconsistent the Razorbacks have been under Mike Anderson away from Fayetteville, I would consider the Georgia game to be their toughest contest. And even then, Georgia is not particularly impressive on either the offensive or defensive end.

Of course, this is not counting Kentucky looking past their opponents, particularly the weaker opponents. And we also know that in these games and then in the SEC Tournament in Nashville in two weeks that their opponents are going to be giving the Wildcats all they can handle in the hope of being that team to give them their first loss. That is how Kentucky has been in a lot of tight contests even against teams they are better than (although not as much since the tight win at LSU two weeks ago).

But even then, the Wildcats have been able to keep winning and that's obviously impressive any way you shape it but especially since even with all their talent, they are a young team with so many underclassmen. Then you factor in John Calipari having to deal with such a deep collection of talent and keep all his players happy.

The bottom line is that Kentucky is simply too good, and the competition from the rest of the SEC too mediocre, for them to not enter March Madness sans a loss. Their defense has been so strong that it will be tough for anybody to score on them on a neutral venue. We all know how it is easier said than done to win every game but I would be surprised if come Selection Sunday, Kentucky has a loss.

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