March Madness: Five Teams Kentucky Doesn't Want to See in the NCAA Tournament
One Year, that is all it took for Kentucky to go from not competing for a conference title to outright champion, and national championship contender.
Last year at this time we had just capped off a 19-12 season and a few weeks later I would write an article that summed up what that season meant to me.
How the NIT to Kentucky really stood for Never Imagined This after the win over UNLV.
Fast Forward and we are now 29-2 locked into a No. 1 seed for the NCAA tournament.
Our coach has said all the right things and made the perfect moves to put his team in the position its in right now. Starting with recruiting and shaping of a team that could make a championship run.
The Wildcats have the great guard play in John Wall and Eric Bledsoe, who could prove to be the best freshman guard tandem ever.
Couple that with the emerging play of DeAndre Liggins, Darius Miller, and Darnell Dodson, and you create quite a formidable backcourt.
In Kentucky's frontcourt you have two All-Americans in Patrick Patterson and DeMarcus Cousins.
Both of these players have had their ups and down this year. Patterson has come on as of late and in the tournament will be the rock the team leans on when they need a leader.
This team looks like they have everything they will play anyone and only have trouble with the top seeds as they get deeper in the tournament.
This is not the case, with the current parity in Men's basketball there are some teams the 'Cats should be worried about.
There are really three types of teams that have a good shot at beating Kentucky, two of which we played this year and lost.
The first type is the elite team. This is the one type we did not play this year, we thought we had put and elite team on the schedule but both of those teams had very sub par season (UNC/UConn). The bad outcomes for those teams makes the win less valuable to the 'Cats.
The second type is the above average team that has the bodies to match up with Kentucky. (Vandy/Tenn) This is the team that can get some rebounds and make a few plays. A team that can body up with Kentucky's size has a chance when they play there best and the 'Cats shoot poorly.
Finally you have what you have is the team of one. The team who has a superstar and he gets hot. He will come to play in the big game and shoot lights out, making impossible plays. With minimal help he can be David and take down a giant. Just ask Devan Downey.
Villanova - The Wildcats have been one of the better teams all year and will look to be a force coming into the Big East and NCAA tournaments. With the leadership of Scottie Reynolds at 24-6, this is a dangerous team.
Kansas - Rock Chalk Jayhawk, the top team in the country will always be a tough out. The leadership of Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins will not let this team go down easy. When you're on top, everyone is gunning for you, and Kansas is up to that challenge.
The University of Louisville - This may seem like an odd choice to some people but to UK fans, it will be a toss up.
You will either want to play them and win big on the big stage. Or you want to avoid them because of their huge wins over Syracuse and how they can just have that game any time.
Pitino still knows how to coach, and facing Calipari a second time he will have a great game plan. The last thing would just be the fact that I do not really want to play this rival again, you can never predict what will happen in games like this.
These teams have not met in the tournament since the original Dream Game in 1983, where Louisville was victorious.
You may call me scared, but all of the intangibles in a game like this would make it a very dangerous game. Throw all records out the window this would be more then another tournament, it would be a blood war.
4. Kansas State
Kansas State University - These Wildcats have taken down a top team this year and even with two losses to Kansas, they know what its like. They can win a big game and would be playing there best against Kentucky.
This is a team that has the big names with Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente running the show. They can put up points. A team that has four players averaging double digits, is nothing to laugh at. There will be someone there to pick up the slack if someone has an off night.
The balance that they have makes them scary and playing with the personality of there coach, K-State will play fast, tough, and hard. This team will not be an easy out.
If State is hitting on all cylinders it might be the wrong Wildcats coming out on top in this one.
The University of Maryland - There is one reason that playing this team scares me and that is Greivis Vasquez. This player is a real star who came back for his senior season and is not regretting it one bit.
His team just took down fourth ranked Duke, and he had many of the key shots down the stretch. He took over the game imposing his will on the Blue Devils. This is the kind of player that could put on a show like Devan "Wildcat Killer" Downey.
This is a good team and can play with the 'Cats in some aspects. If you couple that with a game changer like Vasquez there is a recipe for an upset. If he gets hot, it could be a long day for Kentucky.
Georgetown University - The Hoyas have had a good season, but there have been many ups and downs. The highs, like beating Duke, have shown us this is a very capable team. Then the lows, the losses and the diagnoses of Austin Freeman with diabetes.
Still when Freeman plays well this is a team that can beat everybody. His guard play is outstanding at times, his play and Greg Monroe putting up great numbers, this is a team that can take down the field. Monroe is the most athletic forward in the game, who would give fits to Patterson and Cousins.
This is a team who also has great depth and experience that would help them in a game against the Wildcats. Sometime having been there before is a great asset.
Syracuse University - The Orangemen are the best team in the best conference, who would honestly want to play them. This is a team that can run, shoot, and defend. 'Cuse plays a mean zone that will give this team major fits if we are not shooting well.
This Syracuse team is one that came out of no where, yet again proving that Jim Boeheim is one of the great college coaches of our time. This is a long team that match up very well from the guard to the big men with Kentucky. If this team is hot they are very hard to stop.
I may not want to play the Orange, but it would be the game of the tournament.