With March Madness fast approaching and Kentucky maintaining its perfect record, is there a team which could potentially knock off the No. 1 team? From the way I see it, the answer is a definitive no.
As the season starts winding down and these young men have played together and seen situations play out, it makes them stronger most times, but it has been said many times before “anything can happen in the tournament.”
I would have said years ago there is no way Kentucky could lose to anyone in the tournament, but after watching so many teams come so close and teams come from behind and claim victories it is now my thoughts as well. Anything can happen in the tournament.
Teams can show up with absolutely nothing to lose and upset a shoe-in, by playing basketball at their own pace and controlling the tempo. Hours upon hours can go into preparing for just one game, let alone an entire tournament.
These teams watch countless hours of film from their opponents to come up with a plan or a scheme if you will that will shut down their opponent’s particular style. Being prepared for any situation that arises and having the talent to execute these plans makes the madness great.
I have never coached to the caliber it takes to win on any type level where so much work would have to go into winning over an opponent. Their ability to get key position on every possession seems like it would be a daunting task and eventually take its toll on one’s body.
The size and athleticism of these players are second to none and their abilities are far surpassing any abilities that I for one never had to play on the level at which these guys play. Many of these college basketball players are just one step away from a professional career in the NBA.
Kentucky now has a better than 50 percent chance of finishing the regular season undefeated and there is nothing to suggest Kentucky is going to be challenged in the SEC going forward. To beat Kentucky you are going to need guys in the post who can at least prevent Kentucky’s post from dominating the paint and that has proved to be easier said than done. If you do get the ball deep in the paint and all of a sudden the defense collapses, you’re going to need some guys from the wings who can shoot.
Duke has been right behind Kentucky for most of this season and the Blue Devils have relied heavily on their offense for that. The defense is not nearly up to par, but with the shooters Duke has, it is no wonder they are always somewhere in contention and you can never really count them out for that reason.
Just recently at the local tournament here in McMinnville a coach said this very thing we talked about in the beginning of this column. Anything can happen in the tournament. Right on.