LOUISVILLE, Ky. (MEDIA GENERAL/WTNH) – Thursday night, the Kentucky Wildcats are expected to easily handle the Hampton Pirates from Virginia. With a spotless record, the Wildcats will likely do well in the tournament, but will they stay unbeaten and win it all? One big question heading into this NCAA tournament: Can Kentucky be beaten?
We took that question to Kels Dayton, executive producer of SportzEdge.com at WTNH. So, can anyone beat Kentucky? “Believe it or not, yes,” Dayton said.
He said the Wildcats have already been tested several times in a mediocre SEC. Ole Miss, Texas A&M, LSU and Georgia all had real shots at toppling the Wildcats during the regular season.
In their region (the Midwest), Notre Dame and Maryland each have the talent to play with Kentucky, according to Dayton. “If the Irish were to knock down a bunch of three’s, they’d have a chance to win,” he said.
Winning Is Never Easy
Winning is never easy and a number of teams could beat Kentucky if the situation is right near the end of the tournament.
Wisconsin, which wants another crack at the ‘Cats after losing to them in last year’s Final Four, could take them out in the national semis this year. “The Badgers play a smart, tough, hard-to-prepare-for style and boast the likely National Player of the Year in Frank Kaminsky,” Dayton said.
Arizona, which is loaded with talent, and North Carolina, which has the talent and the size to match up, are other teams that could potentially give the Wildcats problems, according to Dayton.
On the other half of the bracket, Duke, which would meet the ‘Cats in the title game, and Gonzaga, which has plenty of talent and experience itself, would be the best bets to take Kentucky out, Dayton said.
“If Kentucky plays its A-plus game, no one’s going to knock them off. But, if they dip below that, there are several teams that could get hot and stun the Wildcats,” Dayton concluded.