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Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Vanderbilt’s Simi Shittu declares for the NBA Draft

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Add Simi Shittu to the list of SEC underclassmen declaring for the NBA Draft. The Vanderbilt freshman just announced he is entering his name into the draft and his career as a Commodore is over.

Shittu didn’t have quite the year he’d hoped at Vanderbilt, averaging 10.9 points and 6.7 rebounds. The one-time Kentucky target was a top 10 recruit coming out of high school but is now ranked No. 81 in ESPN’s list of top 100 draft prospects; however, considering Vanderbilt’s dismal season and the firing of Bryce Drew, it’s not that surprising he’s making the jump.


It’s official: Buzz Williams is going to Texas A&M

The SEC just got a little sweatier. Virginia Tech has confirmed that Buzz Williams is leaving the program to take the job at Texas A&M. Williams shared the news with his players this morning and the school issued a press release. He’s expected to be introduced in College Station tomorrow.

Jeff Goodman is reporting that LSU’s Tony Benford will join Williams at A&M as an assistant. Benford has been serving as LSU’s interim coach since Will Wade was suspended and managed to get the Tigers to the Sweet 16. Benford served on Williams’ staff at Marquette from 2008-12.

Who wins in a sweat-off: Williams or Bruce Pearl?

UPDATE: Texas A&M has now confirmed the news. Williams, an assistant for the Aggies from 2004-06, will be introduced tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. at Reed Arena.

“I am so humbled and honored to return home to Texas A&M, and proud to lead the Aggies,” Williams said in a press release. “I’d like to thank Chancellor Sharp, President Young and Scott Woodward for this incredible opportunity.  This is our home, and we are ready to join with the 12th Man to win championships, graduate our players and represent this world-class university with integrity.”


Photo: Getty Images

Former NBA All-Star Jerry Stackhouse in contract negotiations with Vanderbilt

Photo: Getty Images

The push for big-name coaching talent joining the SEC continues.

According to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, former NBA All-Star and current Memphis Grizzlies assistant Jerry Stackhouse is in “contract negotiations” with the Vanderbilt Commodores.

The deal is not complete, but according to Rothstein, “the two sides are headed towards a marriage.”

Stackhouse played in the NBA from 1995 through 2013, including back-to-back All-Star honors with the Detroit Pistons in 2000 and 2001.

While he hasn’t ever been a head coach at the collegiate level, he did coach the Toronto Raptors’ G-League affiliate, the Raptors 905, to a title and was named G-League Coach of the Year in 2017.

Vanberbilt fired head coach Bryce Drew following a 20-game losing streak and a 0-18 record in conference play, good for worst in school history. In fact, it was the first time the SEC has seen a team fail to win a single game in-conference in 65 years.

He finished with a 40-59 overall record, including just one NCAA Tournament appearance, in three years at the school.


SEC Basketball Weekly Roundup: One Tough Weekend

The College Basketball season is another week old, and the SEC consistently provides the sport with several talented players and teams. Here are the major storylines surrounding conference teams from the second weekend of NCAA Tournament play. (AP Rankings accurate up until April 1, 2019.)

1. Auburn Makes School History

If you had told me at the start of the tournament that the Auburn Tigers would be making the Final Four, I would have laughed at your face. No offense to Auburn, but I thought it was clear in the regular season that North Carolina and Kentucky were better basketball teams.

Well folks, that is why they play the games.

Not only did the Tigers completely annihilate a very good Tar Heel team, but they defeated the Wildcats on Sunday thus earning their first Final Four in school history. Let’s not understate this: This was the biggest achievement in the history of Auburn basketball.

Head Coach Bruce Pearl is sitting at the top of the college basketball world alongside Tom Izzo, Chris Beard, and Tony Bennett. I honestly did not believe that Pearl would ever find himself back to this position, but he deserves all the praise. Getting the Tigers to play their best basketball against two of the most iconic programs in college basketball history is certainly an outstanding achievement.

But still managing to play that well against Kentucky without star Chuma Okeke (a potential first-round draft pick) is incredibly impressive. After his player’s terrible injury against UNC, Pearl was able to provide one of the best soundbites of this year’s tournament.

Overall, I’m not really sure that Auburn will beat Virginia. However, I don’t think that’s what the story should be right now. Pearl was a guy who was previously fired at Tennessee of all places, and he has now rejuvenated his career at a noted football school. This is, without question, one of the best stories from the SEC this year.

2. Kentucky Misses Fourth Straight Final Four

Not everything was good news for SEC teams this weekend. Only one team could move on from the conference matchup between Kentucky and Auburn. Sadly, the Wildcats had their season was cut surprisingly short as the program failed to make the Final Four for the fourth straight year.

What made this loss even more agonizing was the fact that Kentucky defeated the Tigers by almost 30 points just a month and a half ago even without Reid Travis. So, what on Earth happened here?

To be fair, this loss was the result of a multitude of different factors. First, there is the fact that the Wildcats shot an embarrassing 57% from the free throw line and 23% from beyond the arc. For what was supposedly Calipari’s best free-throw and three-point shooting team during his time at the school, this was a complete and total disaster of a shooting performance.

I don’t like to point out individual players, but Ashton Hagans and Tyler Herro had one of their worst games this season. Having your starting guards play that poorly this late in the Tournament just screams disappointment.

Finally, there is the fact that Calipari was out-coached here by Pearl. Auburn saw that they had a clear advantage offensively in the pick-and-roll, and absolutely nothing was done differently to stop it from UK’s side. Plus, not going to Quickley at all down the stretch and not calling a timeout at any point during UK’s last possession in regulation are questionable decisions at best.

Either way, the blame does not fall on any one individual. This was a total program failure across the board from the players to the coaches. That’s just the nature of the tournament sometimes. Either way, this was still another season in which the Wildcats won 30 games and made the Elite Eight. That’s a very good season, no doubt, but not winning the SEC Tournament and not making a Final Four are very disappointing results.

3. LSU Fails Without Wade

Keeping in with a very disappointing tone, the LSU Tigers failed to make the Elite Eight as they lost to a red-hot Michigan State team in the Sweet Sixteen.

Yes, the Tigers outperformed their preseason ranking this season, but they had the talent to make the Elite Eight. Their outside shooting combined with their incredible athleticism was a dangerous combination. However, they looked lost at times in the second half without their Head Coach Will Wade on the sidelines.

Is Michigan State the better team? Probably. However, I would have loved to have seen LSU take on the Spartans at full strength. That would have been a very interesting matchup.

Now, the Tigers enter a very strange offseason. What will become of Wade? How long is his suspension going to last? And what will the NCAA do to discipline LSU because we all know they will come down in some way. Overall, it stinks that their season ended this way. This was a very fun team to watch. Who knows if LSU will ever be this good again in the immediate future.

4. Tennessee Flames Out Quick

Possibly the biggest disappointment out of this weekend’s results was that the Volunteers failed to make it past the Sweet Sixteen. That is just a travesty. Tennessee had two of the best players in the nation in Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield and neither one of them ever made it to the Elite Eight in their careers.

Purdue just happened to catch absolute fire from the three-point line in what was a classic game. No one really knew who Ryan Cline was beforehand, but his shooting performance in the second half is the stuff of legend.

Similar to Auburn, this was possibly the best season in program history for the Volunteers. However, similarly to Kentucky, not winning the SEC Title game and not reaching the Final Four is an incredibly disappointing result considering their talent. The NCAA Tournament takes no prisoners, and this year was no different.

5. Let’s Talk About John Calipari

We hear the same complaints every single season in which Kentucky disappointingly losses in the NCAA Tournament: It’s all Coach Calipari’s fault. Every time the Wildcats depressingly lose to a lesser team, it’s always a constant pile on this man and yesterday was no different.

Why does this always happen? I will admit even I reacted strongly on social media to my disappointment of Calipari’s coaching in the second half against Auburn. I’ve already stated above the reasons why I thought he was out-coached so there is no need to go over them again.

It’s obviously nowhere close to just being any one person’s fault. The NCAA Tournament is the hardest championship to win in sports. Coach Cal isn’t the one out there on the court missing open shots and turning the ball over. That’s on the players. It’s so easy in such an emotional moment to focus all our blame on just one powerful man rather than the team as a whole.

However, despite the deep respect fans have for Calipari and for the players, it should be reasonable to hold both him and those athletes accountable. No one is above criticism no matter how many points you score, how many Elite Eight’s you reach, or how much money you make.

Is Kentucky lucky to have Coach Cal at the helm? Of course. Is he a good coach? Again, of course. Any other program in the country would kill to make as many Elite Eight’s as the Wildcats have during his time at the school.

However, Kentucky basketball is not “any other program.” The standard has already been set in Lexington. Wildcat fans must realize and enjoy the success the program is having while it’s here, but it’s perfectly acceptable for fans to be concerned on when the Bluegrass state will have its one shining moment once again.


Auburn runs North Carolina off the floor, moves on to the Elite Eight

Auburn runs North Carolina off the floor, moves on to the Elite Eight

Well, that was fun.

The No. 5 Auburn Tigers absolutely destroyed No. 1 North Carolina this evening, winning 97-80 to move on to the Elite Eight.

Sophomore forward Chuma Okeke, who suffered a gruesome knee injury late in the second half, led the Tigers with 20 points (8-11 shooting, 3-5 from three), 11 rebounds, two assists, two steals, and one block.

Junior forward Danjel Purifoy was second on the team with 14 points on 5-7 shooting and 4-6 from three.

As a team, the Tigers finished with a ridiculous 17 3-pointers on 46 percent shooting.

After the game, Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl got extremely emotional when discussing the significance of Okeke’s injury…

The winner of Kentucky vs. Houston will face Auburn for a spot in the Final Four.

#SEC


More Alabama basketball players enter the transfer portal

Andy Lyons | Getty Images

If Alabama does not make the right hire, they might not have enough players to field a basketball team in 2020.

Yesterday we learned point guard Kira Lewis Jr. joined Dazon Ingram in the NCAA transfer portal.  Today Jeff Borzello reports there are two more Crimson Tide players entering the transfer portal following Avery Johnson’s termination, sophomore shooting guard John Petty and junior forward Daniel Giddens.

Petty picked Alabama over Kentucky even though he was one of the first players John Calipari recruited in the class of 2017.  P.J. Washington’s running-mate for Team Penny, the allure of playing for Coach Cal wasn’t enough to convince the Huntsville native to leave his home state.  Giddens spent one year at Ohio State before transferring to Alabama.

In 2018 Petty scored 10.2 points per game on 35.8 percent shooting from behind the three-point line.  The streaky shooter got hot against Tennessee, scoring 30 before they fell to the Vols 71-68.  If Alabama holds on, Johnson may still have a job.

Whoever takes over in Tuscaloosa will first have to recruit his roster before adding to it.  If all four names remain in the transfer portal, the Crimson Tide will lose 60.8 percent of its offensive production in 2020.  Yikes.


SEC Basketball Weekly Roundup: Takeaways from the Tournament Thus Far

The College Basketball season is another week old, and the SEC consistently provides the sport with several talented players and teams. Here are the major storylines surrounding conference teams from the first weekend of NCAA Tournament play. (AP Rankings accurate up until March 25, 2019.)

1. Kentucky Survives First Weekend Without PJ

Sometimes its better to be lucky than good (just ask Duke). Lucky is exactly what Kentucky was on Saturday as they advanced to the Sweet Sixteen by defeating Wofford 62-56.

The Terriers had the all-time leading three-point shooting in NCAA History shoot an abysmal 0-12 from beyond the arc. Did Kentucky play outstanding defense on Fletcher Magee? Of course, the Wildcats did play outstanding defense as Tyler Herro smothered Magee for the majority of the game. However, going 0-12 is just outstandingly bad.

If Magee hits at least 30% of those threes, then the outcome probably is not so great for UK Fans. Good fortune like that in the NCAA Tournament is required no matter how much talent any team may have Besides, Kentucky was due some good luck with the recent injury to PJ Washington.

Now, the Wildcats move forward into the Sweet Sixteen for the eighth time in John Calipari’s Tenure at the school. Out of just ten seasons, that is an incredible stat. Besides a poor shooting performance to Indiana and a terrible Nerlens Noel injury, Calipari has always had the Wildcats make a run in March.

Houston will be next for Kentucky as the college basketball world awaits to see the status of Washington. However, I have better hopes for Houston than I had coming into the Wofford matchup. I think the Cougars are very good, but the Wildcats matchup very well with them. They are a small team that plays with great speed and confidence.

Kentucky should have no problem playing at that kind of a pace. I’m fully expecting an Elite Eight bout with North Carolina. Let’s just hope Washington is back by then.

2. The State of Mississippi Disappoints

Without a doubt, the greatest disappointment of the Tournament for the SEC has been the play of teams from the state of Mississippi. Both Miss. State and Ole Miss lost to mediocre teams (Liberty and Oklahoma) who did not even make the Sweet Sixteen.

Both losses were indeed very different. The Bulldogs lost a very close matchup against Liberty 80-76. Simply put, the Flames just hit more threes than Miss. State did as they had a 12-8 advantage in that area. Stars Quinndary Weatherspoon and Lamar Peters combined to score 48 points, but it just wasn’t enough to avoid the ole’ 12-5 upset.

On the other hand, Ole Miss was completely embarrassed by Oklahoma. The Sooners blew out the Rebels 95-72 in one of the more embarrassing first round results. However, this one wasn’t entirely Ole Miss’s fault.

The Sooners shot the ball incredibly well despite the fact that the Rebels actually made 11 three-point shots. This happens to good teams sometimes in the tournament. Sometimes a lesser squad will come out on fire and put you away early. Ole Miss has nothing to hang their heads about, however. Making the tournament when you were originally picked to finish last in the SEC is quite the accomplishment.

3. Tennessee Finds Ways to Win

One cannot say that reaching the Sweet Sixteen is a disappointment for any team, but wow did Tennessee have a suspiciously bad weekend in the first and second rounds.

First, they were given a great game by #15 seed Colgate University. This had no business being a close game, but the Volunteers had a terrible time guarding the three-point line. Colgate hit an outstanding 15 three-point shots to get the game within three points with just two minutes remaining.

But, Admiral Schofield hit a couple of clutch threes and the Volunteers easily pulled away down the stretch. Things did not get much better in the next round as Tennessee gave up a 25-point lead to Iowa. The Hawkeyes somehow managed to force overtime despite shooting a very poor 39% from the field.

Overall, the Volunteers had an “even” assist-turnover ratio in the first weekend which a huge cause for worry. I find it extremely startling that against Iowa and Colgate, Tennessee did not have more assists than turnovers.

Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield are legitimate superstars in the sport, but there are too many isolation plays being drawn up for them. The Volunteers have not found a natural flow yet against two below average teams. What’s going to happen if they can’t find that flow over a red-hot Purdue team or a stifling Virginia club? If something does not change soon for Tennessee, then they will not be making it to the Final Four.

4. LSU Finds March Magic Without Head Coach

I’ve been hyping up this LSU team all season long as a team that should advance deep into the tournament. Of course, recent events have made me question my initial thoughts. With their Head Coach Will Wade still suspended, I was not sure what to make of the Tigers’ tournament chances.

Its clear to the nation now that LSU’s talent overcame its off-the-court problems. They annihilated Yale in the first round, and then Tremont Waters hit the shot of the tournament so far to push the Tigers into the Sweet Sixteen.

Now, the only question is if LSU can actually knockoff Michigan State and Tom Izzo without their head coach. To be completely honest, I expect them to do so. The Tigers matchup relatively well with the Spartans. They shoot the three ball very well, and they have the big guys to compete with MSU’s size.

But it does not really matter if they beat Michigan State or not. The fact that LSU actually reached the Sweet Sixteen despite all of the drama speaks to the character of those student-athletes. They are playing like they have nothing to lose, because…well….these wins are probably going to be vacated anyways. They are the Bad News Bears of College Basketball.

5. The SEC Proves Its Strength

Overall, the SEC proved a lot of people wrong this weekend. The conference went a very successful 9-3 in the first weekend of the tournament. Only the ACC had a better record at 10-2.

This is only the third time history that the SEC has four teams (UK, LSU, Auburn, Tennessee) all in the Sweet Sixteen. In those other two tournaments (1986 and 1996) a team from the state of Kentucky ended up winning the National Championship.

This was a conference that many considered overrated throughout the season. Well, its safe to say that we can put those criticisms to rest now. Unless the SEC completely falls apart in the Sweet Sixteen, I think we should at least see two of those teams make the Elite Eight.

There is no question that this conference is, at the very worst, the second-best in college basketball. The ACC still has the right to be called the best for now until the SEC can successfully win a National Title for the first time since 2012. And who knows, with a little bit of that Duke-type of luck, I really like the SEC’s chances at doing so.


Analyzing Every SEC Team’s NCAA Tournament Path

The NCAA Selection committee has finally made their long-awaited decisions, and the brackets have been officially made. Seven SEC teams will be dancing for a shot at winning the National Championship. Here is the path that each team may face in their run for One Shining Moment.

East Region

Mississippi State: 5 Seed, 23-10 Overall Record

While Miss. State did not end the year particularly strong (lost 3 of their last 5), the Bulldogs have put together a relatively good resume on their way to a five seed. They have multiple wins over NCAA Tournament teams like Arizona State, Saint Mary’s, Cincinnati, Auburn, Ole Miss, and Florida.

They have a very fascinating first round matchup against Liberty University. The Flames are not going to be an easy out by any stretch of the imagination. This is an experienced ball club which won 28 games. Also, with this being a 5/12 matchup there is naturally going to be a lot of talk of an upset.

However, I would bet against it. Without question, the Bulldogs will have the best player on the floor in Quinndary Weatherspoon. No one on Liberty averages over 13 points per game, and the Flames did not beat a single opponent from a major conference.

The bad news for Miss. State is that the road ahead of them is extremely tough. If they handle their business against Liberty, they will most likely have to play a good Virginia Tech squad in the next round. Simply put, the Hokies are just a better team and will be favored in the matchup.

The really, really bad news for the Bulldogs is that they have a potential Sweet Sixteen matchup with Duke even if they manage to make it out of the first weekend. Overall, if Miss. State makes it out of the first weekend, it would be a massive success. However, their championship fate already seems sealed.

Prediction: Losing in the Round of 32 against Virginia Tech

LSU: 3 Seed, 26-6 Overall Record

Look, the Tigers are possibly the biggest wildcards in this year’s tournament for a multitude of reasons. The recent FBI scandal involving Head Coach Will Wade and freshman guard Javonte Smart has put a dark cloud over anything LSU has accomplished this season.

How will that affect the team in the tournament? Their loss against Florida in the SEC Tournament was bad, however, it came on a last second shot. This is still an insanely athletic team with a ton of talent.

They will be on upset alert right off the bat against 14-seed Yale. Make no mistake about this: Yale is a better team than Liberty is. LSU obviously has more talent than the Ivy League Champion, but we just don’t know if the Tigers will be ready to play against such an experienced squad.

If they can just get past Yale, I really like their chances in the second round against Belmont/Maryland. In the sweet sixteen they would most likely have to play Michigan State which would normally be a good matchup for LSU. However, the Tigers are at a disadvantage without Wade on the sidelines. That will hurt their chances against Izzo.

Even if they do defeat the Spartans which is certainly possible, they are not getting past Duke in the Elite Eight. That is the ceiling for this LSU team this season.

Prediction: A Sweet Sixteen loss to Michigan State.

West Region

Florida: 10 Seed, 19-15 Overall Record

I think this is the one SEC team that is destined to lose in the first round of the tournament. I don’t think that the Gators are particularly a bad team, but I think they got a terrible draw by playing Nevada in the first round.

Don’t forget that the Wolfpack pulled off a big run in the tournament last season where they unfortunately lost to Loyola-Chicago in a classic Sweet Sixteen game. Almost everyone returned from that team, and Nevada managed to have another great season by winning 29 games in the regular season.

The Wolfpack will have the best player on the floor in Caleb Martin, and they will have the better head coach in Eric Musselman. Anything can happen on any given day, but I think Nevada beats Florida nine times out of ten. Even if the Gators luck up and win, they are not beating Michigan in the second round.

Prediction: First round exit to Nevada.

South Region

Ole Miss: 8 Seed, 20-12 Overall Record

The Rebels got one of the more favorable 8/9 matchups as they will be playing Oklahoma in Columbia, South Carolina. Even though Oklahoma is favored by ESPN’s matchup predicator, I really like Ole Miss in this matchup.

Do not bet against Kermit Davis in the first round. As the head coach at MTSU, Davis led the 15-seeded Blue Raiders to a monumental upset of Michigan State in 2016. Then in 2017 he led MTSU to a 12/upset over Minnesota. Davis gets his guys ready to win in the first round.

Also, I just think the Rebels have the more talented team. The best squad the Sooners beat all season long was a Kansas team that is reeling from injuries and suspensions. After that, the best team they beat was Florida by five points.

Ole Miss is winning this game. They have the better coach, and the Rebels will also have the two best players on the court in Breein Tyree and Terrance Davis. After that, well…..they won’t be advancing any further. Virginia will be awaiting them in the second round, and the Cavaliers are the better team.

Prediction: Round of 32 loss to North Carolina

Tennessee: 2 Seed, 29-5 Overall Record

The Volunteers are the first team in this list which has a real shot at reaching the Final Four. Outside of potentially playing Cincinnati in the second round, they have a favorable path to Minneapolis.

They will cruise in the first-round game against Colgate, neither Purdue nor Villanova posts a real threat to the Volunteers in a potential sweet sixteen matchup, and Virginia is a beatable No. 1 seed. But before we look that far, let’s look at that Cincinnati matchup.

First off, the Bearcats are not a team that deserves a seven seed. The committee basically ignored that Cincinnati won the AAC Tournament over a very good Houston team on Sunday. Jarron Cumberland (18.8) is one of the better players in college basketball, and he will give the Volunteers problems.

Even with this game being played in Columbus, Ohio, I still think Tennessee will barely emerge victorious. That leads us to that mammoth Elite Eight showdown with Virginia. I’ll be up front with this: I think this is the year the Cavaliers make the Final Four. After the UMBC disaster, I think this team will be on the war path in this year’s tournament, and I love their talent.

Plus, I just do not trust Rick Barnes in March. I think he is holding back Tennessee to a certain extent. Can the Volunteers make the Final Four? Of course. They just need to get lucky and stay clear of Virginia.

Prediction: Elite Eight loss to the Cavaliers.

Midwest Region

Auburn: 5 Seed, 26-9 Overall Record

Here is the second biggest wildcard out of the SEC teams and possibly the entire tournament. How far the Tigers advance in the tournament has everything to do with their first-round matchup with New Mexico State.

This is very much so a dangerous 5/12 game because the Aggies are a 30-win team on a 19-game win streak who also just so happens to play a fascinating brand of basketball. There are 12 (!) players on NMSU’s team who play at least 10 minutes a game. The Aggies will consistently throw fresh guys at Bruce Pearl’s team all game long.

The only question is how good are these guys compared to Auburn? Overall, I have to barely go with the Tigers because of their backcourt. Jared Harper and Bryce Brown will get the job done.

If they get past the Aggies, I think the flood gates will open up. They would take care of business against Kansas, and I LOVE their matchup against North Carolina. The biggest thing I’ve noticed about the Tar Heels this season is that once a team makes a huge run against them, they don’t come back.

Auburn loves to go on huge stretches where they hit 4-5 straight threes. Plus, I think Harper will cause problems for Coby White defensively. Is this a bit bold when the Tigers could lose in the first round? Yes, but fortune favors the bold. Just don’t bet on the Tigers to beat Kentucky in the Elite Eight.

Prediction: Elite Eight loss to Kentucky

Kentucky: 2 Seed, 27-6 Overall Record

We finally reach the dear ole’ Wildcats. Let’s get this out of the way now: I think this team is destined for the Final Four. UK’s side of the Midwest bracket is favorable. Seton Hall and Wofford will provide a scary second round game, as could Iowa State in the Sweet Sixteen.

But I really do think that Kentucky is marginally better than all of those teams. This leads to that huge potential rematch against UNC. For one, I have a sneaky suspension that the Tar Heels will not make it that far. Even if they do, I really like how the Wildcats matchup with them. It’s the whole reason why UK was victorious in December. Don’t forget that Reid Travis is from Minneapolis which would make for a great Final Four storyline.

In the Final Four they would most likely play Virginia. Normally, a really good, defensively tough team that likes to slow it down would beat Kentucky. But this is a different Wildcat squad from year’s past because they play so well in the half court. Plus, Kentucky is playing elite defensively at the moment.

I sincerely think Coach John Calipari and company will find themselves in the National Championship game. Your guess is as good as mine to what happens next. Can the Wildcats beat Duke in a rematch? Does Duke even make that far with their poor three-point shooting? UK’s destiny depends on if Ashton Hagans can play at a championship level. Dominant guard play always determines which team will have that one, true shining moment. This year will be no different.

Prediction: National Championship Game Appearance

Happy March Madness!