With the start of postseason play here, we gathered our staff to see how confident they feel about the Kentucky Wildcats entering the SEC Tournament. For the most part, we’re somewhere between cautiously optimistic and very confident about the Cats chances to make this another memorable March.
Fairly confident. We drew the section of the tournament without either Vanderbilt or Florida. Our first game will be with either Tennessee or Georgia, and while both of those worthies gave us some anxious moments at home, I feel good about handling them at a neutral site.
The semifinal would most likely feature South Carolina, and I think we match up really well with them. If Alabama, Mississippi St. or LSU wins through to face us there (assuming we reach it), I feel even better about it.
I am less confident about winning the tournament versus either Florida or Vanderbilt, but we should be able to beat both teams. Vanderbilt is particularly challenging, but the game would essentially be meaningless.
I suppose if the cards fell just right it could be the difference between a 1 or 2 seed, but I don’t think we’ll get the 1 seed no matter what unless a current #1 is upset very early on in their tournament and UK plays outstandingly well.
I feel very confident heading into the SEC tournament. Kentucky is riding a seven-game winning streak, and they are finding different ways to win games. For example, they can win a slowdown slugfest, a game without De'Aaron Fox, or a game where Malik Monk isn't scoring in bunches. I have more confidence in this team now than I have since December.
I feel very confident in Kentucky's ability to win the SEC Tournament. This is a team built with elite talent who thrive in pressure situations. This is the reason they signed up to play at Kentucky, and you have to believe guys like Monk, Fox, and Adebayo will find that second gear this week.
I feel cautiously optimistic about Kentucky entering the SEC Tournament. I don’t love the possibility of Kentucky facing Georgia for a third time in the Quarterfinals, as Georgia could have easily swept the Cats during the regular season.
However, Kentucky is riding an eight-game winning streak heading to Nashville, and generally playing better as a collective group. Winning close games to close-out the regular season provided some much-needed reassurance.
The best basketball that this team has played was from mid-December into early January. After several games showing a steady decline, it seems the Wildcats are beginning to find their footing. That's bad news because you wanted that to happen two months ago.
But it is also promising because there are two more weeks before the big dance begins and maybe, just maybe, things will start clicking at the right time for this group.
They're fine. Not a title favorite, but a threat to win any game against any opponent. The annual whispers of a "tweak" have begun, but the only tweaks this team's needs are for Fox to get healthy and Briscoe to start hitting jump shots again.
I am confident that Kentucky can play with any of the top teams in America. Kentucky started as an offensive juggernaut, the competition evolved, and it has taken Cal and company about six weeks to counter with their own evolution. I believe they would beat a UCLA now... but I worry about a UNC or Kansas. UK is second tier right now. Having said that, UK tends to 'get right' starting this week
I'd put my confidence level at about 70-80%. Regardless of how down you are on this team, they've won eight straight games. That's not easy. They got straight housed by UF in Gainesville, and they haven't looked back ever since. At the same time, those haven't been the prettiest wins either.
There's a good chance this team makes it to at least the title game, but they'll have to either face a UT or UGA team in the quarterfinal round. Either way, it won't be an easy game against a team that's fighting for an NCAA tourney bid.
Those are our thoughts. How do you feel about the Cats?