Yes, Kentucky. The same team that just hocked up a game against lowly South Carolina.
The fact is, UK is that team that nobody's interested in playing in March. No one wants to be in the path of the One-and-Done Express when its stumbling prodigies finally figure out how this college game works.
Following the Wildcats' loss to Florida last month, point guard Andrew Harrison stated a home truth that no Wildcat fan likes to acknowledge. As reported by Kyle Tucker for USA Today, Harrison denied that UK has selfish players, but admitted that many were "trying to get a job." Lingering questions about the NBA are among the myriad reasons that have been posited for Kentucky's inconsistent play.
Coach John Calipari is trying to deflect blame onto himself, judging from his comments on this week's SEC teleconference, reported here by Tucker for the Louisville Courier-Journal. Calipari said, "It’s our job and my job as the head coach to figure out what we have to do, how we have to do it, to get them to play as well as they can possibly play.”
Should Cal figure out the solution to that equation, he still has a team with tremendous size, especially in the backcourt. The inconsistent Quinn Cook and inexperienced ball-handler Rasheed Sulaimon could have serious problems in beating a motivated 6'6" trio of the Harrison twins and James Young.
Inside, Jabari Parker would face a difficult task in getting his buckets on dangerous rim protector Willie Cauley-Stein and bulky Dakari Johnson. Glass cleaners Amile Jefferson and Marshall Plumlee would have their hands full with SEC Player of the Year candidate Julius Randle (10.4 rebounds per game).
Calipari summed up his team on that teleconference when he said, "We're talented enough to do what we want. We could beat anybody in the country, but we’ve also proven we can lose to anybody in the country." The tournament has a way of victimizing teams like that, but others rise above. It's anyone's guess how UK will finish.