Kentucky Basketball: No Surprise That Wildcats Are Picked to Repeat in SEC

Josh SchochAnalyst IIIOctober 23, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 31:  Kyle Wiltjer #33 of the Kentucky Wildcats reacts after making a three-pointer in the first half against the Louisville Cardinals during the National Semifinal game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on March 31, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

John Calipari's Kentucky Wildcats are consistently among the nation's top teams, and this year will be no exception. The preseason SEC media poll shows that the team is heavily favored to win the SEC crown once again this season.

After going 16-0 in conference play last season and winning the conference by six games it looks like the Wildcats are poised for their 48th regular season conference title in school history.

Despite losing six legitimate stars to the NBA, the team has reloaded with four top 40 recruits and North Carolina State transfer Ryan Harrow. The team is also joined by Kyle Wiltjer, the No. 19 player in the Class of 2011, who may become the team's leader.

This year's team is no less talented than last year's. With Harrow potentially being a stud, the team will have the weapons around him to make another national championship run.

Pairing Harrow with Archie Goodwin in the backcourt and giving them four great bigs in Wiltjer, Alex Poythress, Willie Cauley and Nerlens Noel is a recipe for success, and the SEC's media took notice.

We could legitimately see Kentucky go undefeated in conference play again this season. The only teams who can really challenge the Wildcats are Florida and potentially Missouri or Tennessee. As Coach Cal gets his guys to mesh well, the team will be unstoppable in conference play.

The SEC is not exactly a basketball powerhouse right now. While the conference does have three teams in the B/R preseason top 25, Kentucky is clearly what is keeping the conference from slipping to the ranks of conferences like the MWC or A-10.

With an easy schedule it'd be foolish to pick against UK to win the SEC once again this year, and the only question left is if they will lose a single conference game this year.