Kentucky-VMI: Expect the Battle to End Quickly

Kevin WelchContributor INovember 2, 2008

The Kentucky Wildcats take on the Virginia Military Institute Nov. 14 at 7 p.m., and I highly doubt they bring guns to the game. If they do, hopefully we won't see Rupp being taken over.

This game should be a cupcake for Billy Gillespie's squad, one of the "most conditioned" teams he has ever had. Expect an up-and-down tempo game with just a 95 percent chance of a blowout, even though this game is a "sure win" like Gardner-Webb was last year. Hopefully the Cats show hunger earlier in the season if they want a solid year.

Last season was a slow start and had us sweating at the end of the conference tournament. This year, Kentucky has a healthy Jodie Meeks, who had 32 points in the Blue vs. White scrimmage. Patrick Patterson will again be the go-to guy. The superstar sophomore just can't be stopped, so expect All-Conference. Michael Porter, starting this season at point guard, has improved dramatically and must have worked on his shot during the summer. Did I mention he is ripped?

Gillespie will have this team focused and hungry to return to the top of college basketball, and it appears like it won't be long until you see the Cats making their 14th Final Four appearance in hopes of winning their eighth national championship.

VMI, playing out of the Big South, went 6-8 in conference play and 14-15 overall last season. They lost one of the biggest scorers last year in forward Reggie Williams, who averaged 27.8 points per game.

The other weapons for VMI are Travis and Chavis Holmes. Chavis put up 18.3 points per game and Travis Holmes had 15.6. They are the first- and second-leading scorers for VMI that have returned to the battle field.

My prediction for this game is Kentucky, 95-41, over the Institution.