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2010 NCAA Tournament: Is 2010 Kentucky the '07 Buckeyes?

NEW ORLEANS - MARCH 18:  John Wall #11 of the Kentucky Wildcats drives the ball against the East Tennessee State Buccaneers during the first round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the New Orleans Arena on March 18, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Wildcats defeated the Buccaneers 100-71.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Kyle StrittholtCorrespondent IMarch 19, 2010

Back in 2007, there was no question that Ohio State had one of the best teams in the nation. And it showed. They ran the table all the way to the National Championship, losing to Florida in the Finals.

 

That Ohio state team was and still is known as the Thad Five because they were so talented. They had the best recruiting class in college basketball that season to compliment the considerable talent they had returning that year.

 

The four freshmen that had an influence on the incredible success of this team being were Greg Oden, Mike Conley Jr., Deaquan Cook, and David Lighty (the only player left from that freshman class).

 

A lot of people may have had their doubts with this team, but they overcame every adversity thrown at them until the National Championship game.

 

They survived the second round against Xavier in a near upset. It was a missed free throw and a three point shot from Ron Lewis to take the game in overtime, then Michael Conley Jr. fried Xavier in OT with 10 points and a win.

 

The next game they played was against Tennessee. The Volunteers were beating the Buckeyes by seventeen until Ohio State came back and won the game, making it to the elite eight against Memphis.

 

They had no problems against Memphis, and they were never really in trouble against Georgetown in the Final Four.

 

They made it to the National Championship and fell short to Florida University, who won the tournament two consecutive years. However, Greg Oden won the Player of the Game award for his effort.

 

Oden played for 38 minutes of the game, scoring 25 points, recording 12 rebounds, and blocking four shots.

 

How does Kentucky remind me of the ’07 team?

 

Well, like the Thad Five, UK has a star recruiting class that can flat out play. John Wall is just a freshman, but already is one of the best players in the nation and may possibly fight Ohio State’s Evan Turner for the No. 1 pick in NBA Draft.

 

DaMarcus Cousins is not like Greg Oden, but he gives Kentucky an advantage that no other team has. He’s a huge mismatch for teams. He’s a 6’10" forward and is so athletic that it’s hard for teams to contain him.

 

Then you have the third freshman, Eric Bledsoe, who can burn you if you don’t watch him. He just scored 29 points last night against Eastern Tennessee State in the Wildcats' 100-71 win.

 

Then you have the veteran, Patrick Patterson, who has been a great player for the Wildcats since his freshman season at Kentucky. I’ve always expected good things out of him.

 

Kentucky has the talent to run the table and make it to the National Championship game this season, but it depends on how well they play in tough situations. They will likely get tested along the way, with Wake Forest next and potentially West Virginia down the line.

 

This will not be an easy road, but Ohio State has proven is that it can be done.

 

The only difference between UK and the ’07 Buckeyes is that Ohio State was already a good team, but the freshman made it a great team, whereas Kentucky wasn’t the greatest team last season, and a lot of talent left with Jodie Meeks.

 

If Kentucky is to achieve success, Patrick Patterson must step up for this team. Because Patterson has been here before, he will need to make key plays when it seems like the young players are down in the dumps.

 

Ron Lewis had to make the three-point shot for Ohio State to go on and win against Xavier. If he hadn't, we would not have remembered the Thad Five at all.

 

I think UK can beat West Virginia, Duke, and each No. 1 seed if it comes down to it, because they don’t just have one player; they have a whole team of talent that work together and find out how to win games.

 

They’ve only lost two games. Ohio State only lost three (the one loss was without Greg Oden)

 

I see the same result, but maybe a step further.

 

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