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UK Basketball not considered a true contender by ESPN

ESPN named their 12 title contenders, and Kentucky isn’t one of them

NCAA Basketball: Alabama at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

This has been an unusual year in college basketball, as the field seems as open as it has been in several years.

Over at ESPN, they released their list of 12 teams that are legitimate contenders for a national championship, and to little surprise, Kentucky wasn’t one of them.

The list contains the obvious names. Villanova, Virginia, Michigan State, Kansas, Duke, and Purdue. Xavier and Texas Tech also made the list, and then the list also includes Arizona, UNC, Gonzaga, and Wichita State.

Myron Medcalf goes on to list a few teams “You may be wondering about.” Among those include Kentucky.

“The Wildcats have the length and athleticism of past units, but they’ve failed to wade through the adverse situations the NCAA tournament will present. So you can’t bet on this group, which has the Kentucky name but not the fervor of past crews.”

It’s hard to blame Medcalf. This Kentucky team doesn’t exactly feel like a title contender, but neither did the 2011 or 2014 teams that made runs to the Final Four, so it’s unwise to count out John Calipari’s Cats.

As open as the tournament is this year, there are few teams that seem like locks to make the Final Four. If the field opens up, who knows what could happen?

You can also probably cross Arizona off of this list after the Allonzo Trier news. Perhaps the Kentucky Wildcats can replace those Arizona Wildcats on this list of true contenders.

Overall, it should make for an exciting March.