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Jay Bilas does not include Kentucky among his 7 teams that can win it all

bilas

Over the years, Jay Bilas has become one of the most respected analysts in college basketball, and generally, when he talks, I listen. Yesterday, Bilas released his list of the seven teams he believes can win the national championship and there was a notable omission: Kentucky. Here are Bilas’ seven National Championship contenders:

1. North Carolina Tar Heels
2. Villanova Wildcats
3. Kansas Jayhawks
4. Oregon Ducks
5. UCLA Bruins
6. Louisville Cardinals
7. Gonzaga Bulldogs

“There are about seven teams that The Bilastrator would favor to compete favorably for the national championship,” Bilas says. “There are another dozen that can compete favorably for the Elite Eight. After that, it is a fight for a second weekend berth, which usually goes to around 13 major-conference teams and three mid-major teams.”

Bilas lists Duke, Arizona, and Kentucky as the first three teams in his Elite Eight list, followed by Baylor, Butler, and Florida State. What about the rest of the SEC? Florida came in at #18, South Carolina at #31, Arkansas at #42, Vanderbilt at #47, Tennessee at #57, and Georgia at #61.

Sure, Kentucky hasn’t always looked like the world beaters they did early this season, but their talent combined with Cal’s track record should keep them in the conversation of teams that can win it all, right?

[ESPN Insider]

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

33 Comments for Jay Bilas does not include Kentucky among his 7 teams that can win it all



  1. ukjaybrat
    11:28 am March 9, 2017 Permalink

    i dunno. unc is at the top of his list. i think he would argue that UNC has the highest chance to win it all. and assuming uk and unc have no choice but to meet in the elite 8, it makes more sense to pick another 6 teams that have a chance to win it all. i see his logic in that decision.

    gonzaga will be out west with ucla or oregon

    villanova and kansas will each get 1 seeds in whatever division. and then he through in louisville who will liekly be the 2 seed in kansas’s region (because they are known for ducking out a bit early)

    so his logic is pretty sound. if you think about it. he is basically saying gonzaga has a better chance of reaching the final four than uk, which if they are in different regions, is pretty true.rolls reversed, you give uk a 1 seed and put gonzaga in unc’s bracket and you’d be insane to not change the top 7



    • Biglaw Dawgin'
      12:55 pm March 9, 2017 Permalink

      When’s the last time Gonzaga went to the Final Four? Answer: Never. With way better teams (maybe not records) than this. How many times this century have they been to the Elite 8? Once. Those dorks are always content with getting to the Sweet 16 and therefore will never be title contenders.



    • Souf beach Lou
      3:18 pm March 9, 2017 Permalink

      *roles reversed



  2. original slappy
    11:31 am March 9, 2017 Permalink

    Cal’s track record is the reason I have to agree with Bilas.



    • catsarerunnin
      11:36 am March 9, 2017 Permalink

      You mean because of the whole national title,multiple FF’s thing?



    • secrick
      11:38 am March 9, 2017 Permalink

      Who’s track record you rather have? Coach Wooden i guess .



    • hensley79
      11:45 am March 9, 2017 Permalink

      Cal’s track record ???? Cal is one the best in March his record in the tournament is like 23-5!!! Has Bilas ever won a national championship or been to four final fours ??



    • catsarerunnin
      11:46 am March 9, 2017 Permalink

      No not Wooden. Took him way too long to win that first one….



    • runningunnin.454
      1:38 pm March 9, 2017 Permalink

      Coach Wooden had a losing record when he coached HS in Kentucky.



  3. J-Dub421
    11:49 am March 9, 2017 Permalink

    Oregon and Gonzaga are not winning the title.



    • catsarerunnin
      11:56 am March 9, 2017 Permalink

      Headlines would scream “Ducks zig the Zags for title”.



    • unbridled
      12:08 pm March 9, 2017 Permalink

      Agreed. It’s beyond a joke to even imply they could.



    • Mc12
      1:27 pm March 9, 2017 Permalink

      Oregon is pretty good and if they end up out west their path will be more favorable. They play good team basketball on offense and defense. They run good stuff against man and zone. I’m actually hoping Duke ends up the 3 in the West somehow so that Oregon can take them on in the sweet 16 (assuming they get there), rather than getting the 4 out west to square off with Gonzaga. They made it to the Elite 8 last year, I believe. I actually disagree with you on this one, although obviously anything can happen.



  4. hensley79
    11:50 am March 9, 2017 Permalink

    Cal’s track record??? Cal is the best in March his record is 23-5 … Has Bilas ever won a national championship or been to 4 final fours???



  5. ghenson08
    11:58 am March 9, 2017 Permalink

    Couple of years ago, Bilas made the argument for Iowa being dangerous because they were top 10 in offense and defensive efficiency. He spent a large amount of time on ESPN talking them up.

    Here’s UK in the same spot but doesn’t even have them as a final contender? Seems strange.



  6. Laker Cat 18
    11:59 am March 9, 2017 Permalink

    Gonzaga? This is where that Duke education gets you? Zero chance Gonzaga wins the championship. Zero.



  7. TBW3011
    12:07 pm March 9, 2017 Permalink

    Lol. Louisville can’t win it. Wake up Jay.



  8. maximumscott
    12:23 pm March 9, 2017 Permalink

    I know UK has struggled Jan and Feb but they are playing way better and continue to get better. I will hold off complete judgement until after the SEC tourny. I still believe they are a final four team and can win it all. Bilas should consider that UK beat UNC when both schools played arguably their best basketball of the year and multiple players on both teams had career games. That game was set up and honestly just like a final four, elite 8 game. How can one not look at that and say they definitely have the tools amd can do it. Gonzaga will get best in 16. UL losses 1st weekend.



  9. Aar
    12:31 pm March 9, 2017 Permalink

    I don’t pay attention to the other teams but as it pertains to UK, I think he’s right.

    If these Cats all play to 85+% of their potential at the same time, they will beat all comers. Unfortunately, they have never done that this season in a single game, never mind six games straight.

    Depending upon the draw, they probably don’t need to play all that well on the first weekend but, if they make it to the second weekend, every Cat needs to bring their B to B+ game with one or two bringing their A game to make it to play in April. If they make it that far, it’s on!

    It’s time for each and every Cat to be the best version of themselves.



  10. Biglaw Dawgin'
    12:31 pm March 9, 2017 Permalink

    Oregon is a notorious tourney choke artist, we beat UNC, we should’ve beat UL and KU, and despite all of their accolades, Gonzaga has only made it to the Elite 8 once in the past 17 years. UK can go on the hottest of hot streaks at any moment. Bring on the tournament.



  11. Catsby80
    12:51 pm March 9, 2017 Permalink

    I’m not really sure why everyone gets bent out of shape about somebody offering their opinion of who they think is the best… It’s his opinion. He’s entitled to it, just like I’m entitled to mine. Do I think his opinion is wrong? Yes. Again, just my opinion, though. Depending on draw, UK can definitely make it to the final 4. Depending on draw, UK can definitely get sent home first weekend. Just opinions.



    • catsarerunnin
      1:10 pm March 9, 2017 Permalink

      I think part of the reason is the anti-dUKe thing. I think Bilas is the best in the business when it comes to college basketball commentary although that’s not saying a lot considering. I just think to put Oregon and Gonzaga in that group over Kentucky is a stretch. But it’s his opinion.



    • Catsby80
      1:25 pm March 9, 2017 Permalink

      Oh I think he and Schulman are the best 1-2 combo that ESPN has for basketball and I really don’t think it’s close… But yeah back to the topic at hand – I think putting Oregon and Gonzaga in his top 7 teams or whatever is a bit foolish, but whatever. Gonzaga has proven time and time again that they are fools gold. I just hope that we can look back in 4 weeks and say that Jay was wrong.



  12. UKBlue1
    1:26 pm March 9, 2017 Permalink

    Starting games down by 19 points as recently as last week & having absolutely no idea how to play defense & inconsistent on offense, why in the world would he have UK on his list? If you think this team is going some where then you need help dealing with reality.



    • Booby Petrino
      1:51 pm March 9, 2017 Permalink

      “If you think this team is going some where then you need help dealing with reality.” Define “some where” in this instance? I need to know at what point reality sets in. Sweet 16? Elite 8? Final Four? Or you saying we won’t even make it to any of those?



    • 96ChampionBestTeamEver
      3:42 pm March 9, 2017 Permalink

      If UK comes out against UGA like the last several games and gets way behind early I don’t think that bodes well, even if they manage to come back and win yet again. Sooner or later the mountain will too high to climb over.



  13. winagain1
    1:37 pm March 9, 2017 Permalink

    I don’t consider us one of the best 7 teams either..but it’s not like any single team is head and shoulders better than the rest this year…. I think of all those times Butler went to the final four and even championship games… this year feels like that. Wouldn’t surprise me if someone totally unexpected wins it all.



  14. leon singleton
    3:26 pm March 9, 2017 Permalink

    Kentucky will be the Donald Trump of the tourney . Let the losers whining and crying begin.



  15. 96ChampionBestTeamEver
    3:37 pm March 9, 2017 Permalink

    I think I pretty much reluctantly have to agree with Bilas. We are still starting games in a funk. We do that against some of teams we are going to face in the tourney and it will be pretty much over at the first TV timeout. It’s one thing to be down to Vandy at home 25-6, but do that against Arizona or numerous other teams we will face and next time it might be 35-6 and game over.



  16. keiths
    3:40 pm March 9, 2017 Permalink

    As much as I hate to admit it, he is right. Although they have improved, this is a woefully bad defensive team, and if Monk isn’t hitting, not a very good offensive team either. What we do have going for us is, the kids believe they can win, and that really is everything



  17. Jay-cool
    6:40 pm March 9, 2017 Permalink

    Cats are 26-5 and currently on a 8 game wining streak. I will take that into March any time. I like our chances just as good as any of those other clowns. I mean Kansas lost to TCU today?



  18. AGSlater
    12:19 am March 10, 2017 Permalink

    I agree with Bilas. You guys are rattled. lol



  19. 8xchamp
    9:39 am March 10, 2017 Permalink

    List don’t need to be 7. And 3,4,6, and 7 won’t win it either. Give me the other 3 UK, and duke