This hasn't been a great year for college basketball in terms of top-heavy teams, and that's allowed for teams with 5-6 losses to still be labeled as national title contenders.
The Kentucky Wildcats are among them, and so too are one of the teams they beat earlier this season with they were far from the team we've seen recently. Sports Illustrated did their annual Magic Eight, which lists the eight teams capable of winning it all this season.
Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, Michigan State, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Virginia made his list. What's amazing about that list is everyone has at least four losses, and both Duke and UK have suffered six defeats. But when you look at the other teams who didn't make the cut, it's easy to see why no one is confident teams like Xavier, Villanova and Iowa aren't on this list since they usually struggle just to make it past the first weekend of the tourney.
Here's what Winn had to at about the Cats:
The Wildcats aren’t the powerhouse most everyone thought they’d be. They’re lacking the NBA-ready big men that have defined John Calipari’s best title contenders. But I’m not about to risk omitting a team with a Tyler Ulis-Jamal Murray backcourt, given how excellent that duo has been in SEC play. Ulis might be the nation’s best point guard not named Denzel Valentine, and Murray has emerged as an elite scorer. If Kentucky can get senior forward Alex Poythress back from a knee injury (he’s supposed to be out for two weeks), and get decent frontcourt minutes out of him, Derek Willis and Marcus Lee, there won’t be much separating the Wildcats from the teams near the top of the AP poll.
When you look at that list and realize UK probably should have won at Kansas after crushing Duke earlier in the season, it's easy to see why even a 6-loss team like this is still very much a threat to win it all.