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Kentucky trendy title pick among national media

It’s opening day in college basketball, which means hoops writers across the country are unveiling their Final Four and national championship picks. Not surprisingly, Kentucky was a popular choice.


Nineteen of ESPN’s 31 college basketball writers/personalities picked the Cats to make the Final Four. Ten of them have Kentucky winning the title, more than any other program:

  • Paul Biancardi
  • Jay Bilas
  • Jeff Borzello
  • Mike Couzens
  • Seth Greenberg
  • Andy Kennedy
  • Myron Medcalf
  • Dave Pasch
  • Dan Shulman
  • Dick Vitale

CBS Sports

Three of CBS Sports’ five college basketball writers picked Kentucky to make the Final Four. Gary Parrish and Jerry Palm picked the Cats to win the title, while Matt Norlander, Kyle Boone, and Chip Patterson went with Kansas.

Experienced contributors are not something John Calipari has usually had at Kentucky. In fact, only once in the previous nine years has the Hall of Fame coach started a season with at least three players who have already averaged at least nine points per game at the Division I level. That season was 2011-12 season. The result was a national championship. And that’s the main reason why I’m super-high on the Wildcats. Yes, they have five-star freshmen just like usual. But the presence of senior Reid Travis, and sophomores Quade Green and PJ Washington, is the reason I’m predicting Calipari to secure his second national title come April. — Gary Parrish (also selected by Jerry Palm)

Sports Illustrated

Gonzaga was the most popular national championship pick at, but Dan Greene went with the Cats.

Coach K may have brought this year’s most NBA-buzzworthy freshman class to Durham, but what John Calipari has in Lexington is a team that could win it all on this level. It’s a blend of very talented freshmen (three of the consensus top 15, plus two more in the top 35), last year’s very talented freshmen who are now sophomores (most notably forward PJ Washington), and the rare impact veteran (forward Reid Travis, a grad transfer from Stanford and two-time All-Pac-12 first-teamer). It’s the sort of mix that has previously resulted in an undefeated run to the Final Four (in 2015) and a national title (in 2012). That bodes well for the Wildcats’ chances at the latter.

The Athletic

Kentucky was the top vote-getter for national champion in The Athletic’s college basketball poll, with six votes to Kansas’ five, Gonzaga’s four, Duke’s two, and Virginia’s one.

“Under normal circumstances, history tells us the smart play is to stay far, far away from one-and-done teams.  This is not normal for Kentucky, which has its share of propulsive freshmen but also has experience — most notably 23-year-old Reid Travis at the four.  That’s the sort of combo that results in Final Fours and confetti showers.” — Brian Hamilton

Jeff Goodman

Andy Katz

Katz has the Cats beating Gonzaga in his preseason bracket:

I like it.


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.

5 Comments for Kentucky trendy title pick among national media

  1. bigblueteach
    3:00 pm November 6, 2018 Permalink

    Interesting stat about the 2011-2012 season. Go CATS!!!

  2. BigolBlue
    4:59 pm November 6, 2018 Permalink

    I really want to beleive cal can win more, but he just isnt going to. See 2010, 2015

    • CATandMONKEY
      5:03 pm November 6, 2018 Permalink

      Really hope Cal teabags you with number 9.
      You are a miserable human.

    • runningunnin.454
      6:59 pm November 6, 2018 Permalink

      What has Coach K done with his top recruiting classes the last three years, see 2016, 2017, and 2018.
      Oregon, South Carolina, Kansas.
      NCAA tournament is a crap shoot; the bounce of the ball, a shot rattles in or spins out, a ref’s call here and there.

  3. Papaw
    5:16 pm November 6, 2018 Permalink

    He’s entitled to his opinion. Wrong as it is