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ESPN thinks Kentucky is safe from upset in NCAA tourney

fox-bam-bench

The last month of basketball didn’t go as planned at Kentucky, but at least one national college basketball analyst believes the Wildcats are fine and there was never a need to worry about the future.

“There probably was never any need to panic,” writes ESPN’s Peter Keating. “A flu bug had hit half of Kentucky’s roster, and anyone could lose to Kansas and Florida.”

Today, Keating named Kentucky one of five “upset-proof” teams heading into March, determined by his “Giant” ratings.

“These are the Goliaths who are safer than they look, both from traditional and standard analytical viewpoints. In other words, these are the Giants who can make chalk pay,” Keating explains.

UK has a 95,3 Giant Rating, meaning an estimated 95.3 percent chance of beating an average NCAA tournament “Killer.”

Keating explains:

Particularly from a Giant Killers perspective, Calipari’s crew is still primed for a deep NCAA tournament run. Four Wildcats regulars are shooting better than 55 percent from inside, and with few turnovers and top-30 offensive rebounding, Kentucky is scoring 119.6 adjusted points per possession, the seventh-highest rate in the country. They allow opponents to shoot just 32 percent on 3s (ranking 43rd). And they play very fast, averaging 74.1 possessions per game, 13th-most in the NCAA. So they just run away from the kinds of teams they are likely to see early in the tournament. On their way to attempting 71 field goals, amassing 21 offensive rebounds and forcing 19 turnovers against Valparaiso in December, the Wildcats led 23-4 after 10 minutes of play. That’s what Kentucky can do to a Killer. [ESPN]

West Virginia and North Carolina rank No. 1 and 2 in Keating’s upset-proof teams; Kentucky is the fifth safest from a surprising defeat, per the Giant Ratings.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

23 Comments for ESPN thinks Kentucky is safe from upset in NCAA tourney



  1. catsarerunnin
    1:24 pm February 15, 2017 Permalink

    Well if Peter Keating said it then it HAS to be true….



  2. UKFaninNY
    1:48 pm February 15, 2017 Permalink

    Yeah, not sure I agree –

    I get why West Virginia is somewhat bullet-proof due to their defense (defense doesnt take days off) –

    UK is basically gonna live and die by Monk’s outside shooting – Which is fine when he’s decnet, but as we all know, everyone can have a lousy day



    • maximumscott
      2:05 pm February 15, 2017 Permalink

      Live and die by Monks shooting? He averages 20 a game. Thats an average night. If he shoots better than decent he is putting up 30+. When he is hot he knows it and the team knows it too. UK will go deep in the tourny bc of 2 reasons and only 2.

      1) improved defensive focus and intensity (consistently)
      2) getting good production from the 4 spot. We need at least 10-16 points from this position. That means Gabriel/Willis need to combine for this amount or like yesterday one just be hot!



    • UKFaninNY
      2:12 pm February 15, 2017 Permalink

      We’ll see – Sometimes I see Monk playing heroball out there

      As far as defense goes, I’m not sure you can change that – It is what it is



    • UKFaninNY
      2:13 pm February 15, 2017 Permalink

      BTW – the flipside is that Monk can carry them to the Final Four by himself



    • CATandMONKEY
      2:31 pm February 15, 2017 Permalink

      “defense doesn’t take days off”
      False premise.



    • maximumscott
      4:11 pm February 15, 2017 Permalink

      Its not that this team isnt good at defense. It was that the effort and team chemistry was off. It is stsrting to come together now.



  3. GIVEN NOT EARNED
    1:53 pm February 15, 2017 Permalink

    Is it just me or does 119.6 points per possession seem a bit high??



  4. Luether
    3:57 pm February 15, 2017 Permalink

    I’m calling BS on this…



  5. AGSlater
    4:36 pm February 15, 2017 Permalink

    Laugh out loud at this. I could see us possibly going to final four, but we could easily be upset. We have played poorly at times. Now everyone say I am negtiven This is a fair statement. We are playing better, but it wong be suprising to go 1 and done. You mad Bros?



    • UK Big Board Update
      4:39 pm February 15, 2017 Permalink

      Or you could lose to Mercer and LeHigh in the first roun- oh wait, that was Duke.



    • UK Big Board Update
      4:39 pm February 15, 2017 Permalink

      AGSlater July 18, 2016 at 8:59 pm | Permalink
      Like It (0)
      Duke has been getting every player they want even over UK.

      AGSlater April 6, 2016 at 1:28 pm | Permalink
      Like It (0)
      Damn. They are stacked. Could go 40-0. Not a Duke fan whatsoever just being real

      AGSlater January 18, 2016 at 4:34 pm | Permalink
      Like It (1)
      When do they release NIT bracketology? That’s where this team is headed

      AGSlater January 18, 2016 at 4:29 pm | Permalink
      Like It (0)
      Not if, but when they lose to Arkansas they will be out of Top 25 for good. We don’t need to worry about rankings. Need to worry about missing tournament.

      AGSlater February 12, 2016 at 5:09 pm | Permalink
      Like It (1)
      I think they will have 9-10 losses before selection day and be a 7-10 seed. No im not a Cards fan. Our resume is poor. 3-4 really bad losses and 1 decent victory. If more teams keep losing 5-6.

      AGSlater May 20, 2016 at 4:18 pm | Permalink
      Like It (0)
      Our football program stinks and will always stink. Who would want to play for us? It gets old that kids say the school they decommit from is a top their list. Just shut up and say I will NOT be going to UK

      AGSlater September 19, 2016 at 5:31 pm | Permalink
      Like It (0)
      Here is a stat- we suck

      ag slater December 1, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Permalink
      Like It (0)
      Here comes another 2-10 season everyone. I predict 3 straight seasons without an sec win. Next years team may even be worse than this team. Everyone thinks barker is the golden child savior. Hilarious

      ag slater November 23, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Permalink
      Like It (0)
      We suck so bad in football I really forgot that we were even playing a game at all until about 9. We are pathetic in every way possible.From the coaching to the players this football program is pathetic. Can we just take football away from the university It is pointless to play. The only thing our football program is good at is making a bad name for the university and making any team look awesome, How sad is it when your team cannot even win a conference game in 2 seasons. Absolute joke. laughing stock of all of football



    • catsarerunnin
      5:23 pm February 15, 2017 Permalink

      So I guess singing kumbaiya is out of the question?



  6. Han
    6:32 pm February 15, 2017 Permalink

    Heading into this season, I expected we’d not have any letdown in the post season. Maybe not win the title, but likely Final Four bound. Because Cal’s been learning from his recruiting miscues, his teams are great at defending and blocks, and his teams tend to hit their stride in March.

    However, the unevenness this year has me uncertain. Play like we did last night and we’re set. But we won’t hit 3s like that every night, and Willis will disappear at times. So I’m just watching and hoping that we get back to that consistency we had earlier in the year. Monk is pretty reliable in scoring (Please let him keep rebounding!), but we need Fox and Briscoe to both stay out of foul trouble and keep from getting rattled. Then we need Bam to stay out of foul trouble. Then we need Gabriel to have a good rebounding and scoring night if Willis isn’t on. Normally, I’d not be worried, but this team still needs to prove it’s going to hold leads. Last night was a good start.



    • AGSlater
      6:47 pm February 15, 2017 Permalink

      Agree. Waiting for big B’s response. Maybe too negative



    • catsarerunnin
      7:31 pm February 15, 2017 Permalink

      I’m positive he will…



    • UK Big Board Update
      12:23 am February 16, 2017 Permalink

      AGSlater February 15, 2017 at 4:36 pm | Permalink | Reply
      Like It (0)
      Laugh out loud at this. We have played poorly at times. Now everyone say I am negtiven This is a fair statement. We are playing better, but it wong be suprising to go 1 and done. You mad Bros?

      AGSlater July 18, 2016 at 8:59 pm | Permalink
      Like It (0)
      Duke has been getting every player they want even over UK.

      AGSlater April 6, 2016 at 1:28 pm | Permalink
      Like It (0)
      Damn. They are stacked. Could go 40-0. Not a Duke fan whatsoever just being real

      AGSlater January 18, 2016 at 4:34 pm | Permalink
      Like It (1)
      When do they release NIT bracketology? That’s where this team is headed

      AGSlater January 18, 2016 at 4:29 pm | Permalink
      Like It (0)
      Not if, but when they lose to Arkansas they will be out of Top 25 for good. We don’t need to worry about rankings. Need to worry about missing tournament.

      AGSlater February 12, 2016 at 5:09 pm | Permalink
      Like It (1)
      I think they will have 9-10 losses before selection day and be a 7-10 seed. No im not a Cards fan. Our resume is poor. 3-4 really bad losses and 1 decent victory. If more teams keep losing 5-6.

      AGSlater May 20, 2016 at 4:18 pm | Permalink
      Like It (0)
      Our football program stinks and will always stink. Who would want to play for us? It gets old that kids say the school they decommit from is a top their list. Just shut up and say I will NOT be going to UK

      AGSlater September 19, 2016 at 5:31 pm | Permalink
      Like It (0)
      Here is a stat- we suck

      ag slater December 1, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Permalink
      Like It (0)
      Here comes another 2-10 season everyone. I predict 3 straight seasons without an sec win. Next years team may even be worse than this team. Everyone thinks barker is the golden child savior. Hilarious

      ag slater November 23, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Permalink
      Like It (0)
      We suck so bad in football I really forgot that we were even playing a game at all until about 9. We are pathetic in every way possible.From the coaching to the players this football program is pathetic. Can we just take football away from the university It is pointless to play. The only thing our football program is good at is making a bad name for the university and making any team look awesome, How sad is it when your team cannot even win a conference game in 2 seasons. Absolute joke. laughing stock of all of football



  7. bharlan24
    7:31 pm February 15, 2017 Permalink

    I will be surprised if we make it to the Sweet Sixteen. I just don’t trust the defense. If Monk is on we could make it to the Elite eight. I just don’t see getting to the final four. To get to the final four we would need to beat one of the following teams :AZ, Baylor,UL, VA, Maryland, UNC, Duke, UCLA I don’t believe we can beat any of those teams at the end of the year.

    I think Monk will definitely be gone at the end of the year. I think Fox, Briscoe , Gabriel, and Adebayo should stay. I don’t believe any of the aforementioned will go in the first round. Maybe Fox and Adebayo.
    Fox needs to stay and work on his shooting. Adebayo definitely needs work on Rebounding and how not to foul. Briscoe is a D player or overseas.

    If the above should happen next years team is definitely Final four.



    • UK Big Board Update
      1:53 am February 16, 2017 Permalink

      WOW, you’re dumb.

      Harlan County resident, I presume?



    • CATandMONKEY
      8:06 am February 16, 2017 Permalink

      To be fair, Harlan has some of the smartest criminals south of the Ohio river.