The Kentucky Wildcats are obviously a good team. They're currently 30-2, and they rank second in the nation. This is not easy to accomplish, and yet they have done it with relative ease.
But is that a problem? Was this great season for Kentucky too easy?
I think it was.
In Kentucky's first 20 games, they did not face one opponent that is currently ranked. And yet they still lost a game to South Carolina, who is currently 15-16. They also had three instances where they had close games where they eventually won by no more than two points.
Don't get me wrong here, you can't win every game by ten or more, and their going to be games where your opponent eats something before the game and they play lights out, but no matter what, Kentucky should be better and should win the game.
This is to show that Kentucky wasn't challenged in any way in their first 20 games, and they still had a 19-1 record.
In their next 12 games, they faced four opponents that are currently ranked. But really they only faced two ranked opponents, and they played each of them twice. These two teams are Tennessee and Vanderbilt, ranked 13 and 23 respectively.
Overall, this Kentucky team has played games against a ranked opponent four times this season. They have not once played a team that is ranked in the top 10. No top 10 teams? That is a problem.
Against the ranked opponents they have played, they're 3-1. They beat Vanderbilt by two points and they lost to Tennessee by nine. Of course I won't spend too much time dissecting the Tennessee loss because they also beat them by eleven earlier in the year.
So far we have that Kentucky has not been challenged this year yet. They are in a weak SEC this year, and their out of conference schedule was ridiculously easy this year.
Even though they only have two losses, even their coach admits that they could have a lot more. They haven't been as consistent as other teams in the NCAA, and that will be a problem come tournament time.
So, what about John Wall? Let me first say he is a stud, and his ability to play basketball is outstanding. But, he has shown that he gets a lot of his numbers against the weaker opponents on his schedule.
Wall has been a force when he's playing out of conference games, especially earlier in the year. That's what got his name out—his dominant play against weak teams. When he goes up against the better teams though, especially against in-conference and ranked opponents, he often disappears or has off nights.
In the NCAA Tournament, once you get past that first round, there are no weak opponents that you can build up your stats against. You have to show up every night, and Wall, as well as the whole team, hasn't shown that it can do that consistently.
Another big problem with Kentucky? They're young. Both of their top players, Wall and Cousins, are freshman. Being young can be a problem, especially in the tournament. It can also affect the team's consistency, and you have to be consistent in the tourney, because one bad game against a good team and you go home.
I've seen Kentucky play, and they're a good team. They're obviously the most talented and one of the best in the nation. I just don't think they will be a final four team this year.
They need to be consistent, which they haven't been.
They should have veteran leadership if they want to have a better chance to win, which they don't have.
They need to be able to beat the other great teams in the nation, but we're talking about a team that hasn't even played any of the great teams yet. Are they going to be able to survive when their first time is in the NCAA Tournament? No.
If John Wall can't play like he does against crap teams in the tourney. You can kiss a Final Four appearance away for this Kentucky team. There are a lot of good teams out there this year that will contend for a Final Four bid, and while Kentucky will contend, they won't be one of the last four.