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ESPN says UK cannot win the NCAA Tournament

While UK has struggled, it seems unwise to say they can’t win the title in a year where there’s no great teams.

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Florida Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports

John Gasaway from compiled a list of the 343 teams that will most definitely, emphatically NOT win the NCAA Tournament title. He split the teams into two groups: Near Misses and No Clear Path.

Kentucky falls into the ‘Near Misses’ category.

Here’s what he had to say about the Kentucky Wildcats:

9. Kentucky Wildcats Putting Kentucky here could go badly. The Wildcats seemed to be figuring things out at warp speed before the loss at Florida, and this offense was shredding opposing defenses prior to the visit to Gainesville. UK’s late-season offensive rebounding, in particular, was lethal. So what’s the problem? The problem is the rules of this game say there’s space for only eight teams, and anyway, the habit Kentucky’s opponents have of missing an unusually high number of 3s feels like something that could come to an end abruptly in one tournament game (as indeed it did against the Gators).

Gasaway does give the Cats their due by acknowledging that things maybe starting to click for Cal’s team but they ran into a three-point buzzsaw with the Florida Gators.

UK has been one of the best in the country at defending the three but how much of that has to do with a team’s shooting ability or just plain luck?

While I agree that Kentucky’s odds of winning it all aren’t great, we’ve seen teams in John Calipari’s tenure shock the world in the postseason. Will this be one of those teams?

The teams he has with the chance to win it all are the Arizona Wildcats, the Duke Blue Devils, the Gonzaga Bulldogs, the Michigan State Spartans. the North Carolina Tar Heels, the Purdue Boilermakers, the Villanova Wildcats, and the Virginia Cavaliers.

I think these Cats go as far as the six man rotation of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Quade Green, P.J Washington, Kevin Knox, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Wenyen Gabriel can take them.