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Kentucky Undefeated in 2013-14?
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On August 20, 2013 @ 4:10 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Nicole Auerbach, USA TODAY Sports
On Tuesday, the Southeastern Conference unveiled its 2013-14 men’s college basketball schedule, meaning that we now know exactly who Kentucky will play (and where and when) next season.
For those unfamiliar with the hype and outrageous expectations that will surround the 2013-14 Wildcats, here’s a quick primer: John Calipari has assembled quite a roster here. He’s got eight freshmen coming into the program, an unprecedented six of whom were McDonald’s All-Americans. On paper, this freshman class looks like it could be the best recruiting class in college basketball history. Calipari has compared his current team to his 2009-10 squad, which reached the Elite Eight and had five players drafted in the first round of the 2010 NBA draft.
Add sophomores Alex Poythress and Willie Caulie-Stein into the mix — considered elite recruits themselves a year ago. If Calipari can get these guys to play unselfishly and play together, this Kentucky team could give Calipari his second national championship.
Getting ahead of ourselves? Perhaps. But some folks are going further, predicting an undefeated season or something close to that. Let’s take a look at the five teams most likely to put an end to any talk of a perfect season.
(And no, we won’t be mean and say 2012 NIT darling Robert Morris in the season-opener)
Nov. 12 — Michigan State vs. Kentucky (7:30 p.m., United Center in Chicago, ESPN): There’s no better way to start the season off than with possibly the best two matchups of the entire year. Kentucky faces Michigan State in the first half of the Champions Classic doubleheader, followed by Duke-Kansas. Preseason polls will likely put the Spartans in the top five, mostly due to the return of these two guys: Adreian Payne (10.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg last season) and Gary Harris (12.9 ppg). Harris and Keith Appling form arguably the Big Ten’s best backcourt (and are both finally healthy), and Payne gives Michigan State a huge boost down low on both ends of the court. It’s never a good idea to bet against Tom Izzo’s teams, and this one has a look of a Final … [For more on 5 matchups stopping Kentucky from going undefeated in 2013-14, click here.]
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