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Would a 2 Seed in Louisville Region be Better Than a 1 Seed?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Dwight Schrute View Post

    Yup. I don't think we (or anyone in college basketball for that matter) have anyone who can remotely contain him. The dude is just a freak of nature. Like DeMarcus Cousins with the athleticism of John Wall. Just an unreal specimen.

    But I didn't think anyone in 2010 could beat us, and West Virginia did. Anything can happen in March, but I'd rather have Zion on my team than not.
    Yep...so much for the Zion brought us EJ, re-focused Cal on recruiting, and other stuff people were trying to sell when he chose Duke.

    It will take a huge effort for someone to knock off Duke in the tournament. I don't think UK can beat them. Duke just matches up so well with what UK wants to do. I think Duke would have to have an awful game and UK playing at their best to win.

    Duke can be beat by a team that is a great three point shooting team or has a tremendous big guy down low. UK doesn't have either and I just don't see a scenario where UK wins against them.

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    • #32
      With Duke it may be a thing where you give Zion his 20, give Barrett his 25, and hope they hit three or four threes as a team and you beat them that way.

      When they were susceptible a couple weeks ago they could only count on Barrett and Zion. Reddish has sort of come back recently and when you have three that are that good your chances of losing are very slim. Best chance for the field is that Reddish goes into a funk in March.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by JFCats22 View Post

        Yep...so much for the Zion brought us EJ, re-focused Cal on recruiting, and other stuff people were trying to sell when he chose Duke.

        It will take a huge effort for someone to knock off Duke in the tournament. I don't think UK can beat them. Duke just matches up so well with what UK wants to do. I think Duke would have to have an awful game and UK playing at their best to win.

        Duke can be beat by a team that is a great three point shooting team or has a tremendous big guy down low. UK doesn't have either and I just don't see a scenario where UK wins against them.
        PJ Washington's pretty tremendous. Also, the last time we played them they could do nothing with Reid Travis.

        If the game goes down low then UK can win that. It's when the game gets up and down that you have problems against Duke. Last time we tried to run with Duke and that's not the way you beat them. Or come close to beating them.

        Also, I really like E.J. Montgomery and think he's the exact sort of player who could really be huge for us in March. I wouldn't write him off. He isn't in the conversation of Zion Williamson of course, but having a guy who can charge after rebounds like he does is invaluable.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Will Lavender View Post

          PJ Washington's pretty tremendous. Also, the last time we played them they could do nothing with Reid Travis.

          If the game goes down low then UK can win that. It's when the game gets up and down that you have problems against Duke. Last time we tried to run with Duke and that's not the way you beat them. Or come close to beating them.

          Also, I really like E.J. Montgomery and think he's the exact sort of player who could really be huge for us in March. I wouldn't write him off. He isn't in the conversation of Zion Williamson of course, but having a guy who can charge after rebounds like he does is invaluable.
          I'm not knocking EJ, I like him alot (assuming he stays at UK). But the notion that it was better (by some people) that we got EJ and a re-focused Cal (which has delivered nothing) over a "problem causing" Zion was and is ridiculous.

          With Zion, this UK team (minus EJ) is undefeated, the talk of college basketball and the overwhelming favorite to win the title.

          If K wins Duke's third title during Cal's time at UK I think you will see a revolt from a lot of UK fans. Cal had his chance when he was on top of the college world from 2010-2015 and didn't finish the job.

          I just cannot stand to think of Duke winning a 3rd title in 10 seasons.

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          • #35
            Duke of course will be the favorite to cut down the nets. Best players and a Hall of Fame coach make them a tough out. I could see Tennessee knocking them off. Kentucky may if they continue improving. I can see a team getting out in the lead with Duke and then they start settling for threes and struggle on the free throw line. If you can simply keep it close you have a chance against a poor a poor three point and free throw shooting team.

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            • #36
              Or it could go the other way and K could underperform with a great team again.

              We heard almost as many accolades about last year's Duke team as this. In reality as great as Zion is, Marvin Bagley was also a tremendous college player that pretty much did what he wanted. Wendell Carter was right there in the discussion as one of the game's best. They couldn't get it done last year so I wouldn't assume they can this year just because of their personnel.

              They're a buzzer beater away from having the same record as UK.

              In our head to head match-up, PJ Washington did nothing and Ashton Hagans couldn't play. Hagans has become one of the three or four best defensive guards in America and Washington has morphed into a star.

              So I wouldn't really just assume that you know how it's going to end. This is a very good Kentucky team that's doing something only Cal's best teams have. I don't think they're inferior to anyone in the country at this point.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Jeff ROCKober View Post
                Duke of course will be the favorite to cut down the nets. Best players and a Hall of Fame coach make them a tough out. I could see Tennessee knocking them off. Kentucky may if they continue improving. I can see a team getting out in the lead with Duke and then they start settling for threes and struggle on the free throw line. If you can simply keep it close you have a chance against a poor a poor three point and free throw shooting team.
                If teams could get over and cut off those left-handed drives then Duke can be had.

                Both Zion and Barrett badly want to drive it left virtually every time they get it. But college players are hesitant about stepping over in front of them, Barrett because he's so slithery and Zion because he's built like a tank.

                I think how they get beat is a team figures out how to get over there in the lane, Zion picks up a couple of charges, and they clank outside shots. Duke can't shoot. It has to be able to drive the basketball. The team that beats them will get over and sit on the left side of the paint.

                Tennessee would be a really interesting game for Duke. Very smart team that wouldn't panic when Duke hit them with a run. Superb athletes at the 3 and 4. Would be a very intriguing game.

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                • #38
                  Going back to the Duke program generally.

                  The thing about Duke is that Duke is doing what they've done for three decades.

                  Duke was the dominant team when I was my son's age. They hit a little skid in the late '90s and then they were dominant again in the early 2000s. Then they sort of just continued that all through the 2000s.

                  Calipari was an assistant at Kansas when Coach K started this. It's gone through four Kentucky coaches. They weren't recruiting schmoes thirty years ago. Duke has consistently outrecruited virtually everybody in America in the modern era. The only time Kentucky has really gotten into Duke was right when Cal came, but Duke quickly adjusted and overcame that. Because that's what great programs and great coaches do: they adjust.

                  Cal should get a little credit for adjusting and assembling this roster, IMO. This is a very good roster and there are two pieces--Travis and Hagans--that Cal had to scratch to get. Those two have the potential to help take this team to a title.

                  The Duke love on ESPN is a little out of control, but as I said you saw the same thing last year with Bagley. And all that talk could possibly be a positive for the rest of the field come March. There's always a team that gets knocked down a peg and starts reading their own press clippings. I suspect this happened to UK back in '15. I would rather my team have a chip on its shoulder like the 2012 team did after the Vandy loss in the SEC Tournament.

                  This team will not be the odds-on favorite to win it but there was a time when we were. We promptly went out and lost by 34. Weird things happen in this sport when teams start to feel like they don't have to fight to win basketball games. Almost every team that's won a championship in the last few years has had a period of pretty significant struggle during a season.

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                  • #39
                    Very good reading on this thread. I think I might not be quite as high on the team right now, but if you were to see Hagans continue to play well, Washington to continue being Mr. MVP, Travis rebounding as he does and hitting his close-ups, Herro shooting at least well enough, AND you get the occasional big game from Johnson...then my tune changes.

                    Call me crazy, delirious, or twilight zone version of Basketball Benny...but in a 2 or 3 game stretch Nick Richards could be the guy that scares Duke. He could erase some of those items above with put-backs on offense and just influencing Duke enough spatially that you could make things weird for them. I don't think Washington and Travis alone could do it. You gotta have a big game from Johnson and Herro imo.

                    Of course there's no guarantee that the rematch will happen. There are several teams that can beat UK, and probably a few that can beat Duke. A second tier team could always win it. That's what is great about this tournament.

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                    • #40
                      I think Kentucky is probably legitimately the fourth or fifth best team. Because of inconsistent outside shooting there are a bunch of teams that could beat Kentucky on a neutral, but because of our defense it's going to take a big effort. We've slowly come along to where we're about where Cal's very best teams have been defensively.

                      Duke's ceiling is higher simply because they're so athletic and having the individual stars that they have gives you more of a margin for error. But because of their outside shooting/free throw shooting they're far from invincible. One of the ways UCONN won those two titles was stellar foul shooting. Cal's teams have literally lost national championships because of foul shooting. It obviously matters in tight, ugly games like NCAA Tourney games usually are. If I'm Duke I worry I get into a tight game and my guys start to clank from the stripe.

                      The good news for UK is that it's a pretty soft year in the sport once you get past four or five teams. If something happened to Duke to clear our way to a title I think we've got a good shot if we keep defending like this. The defensive turnaround from November to now for Kentucky is nothing short of staggering.

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                      • #41
                        In the Cal era I would put this team right now probably on the level of the Monk/Fox team. If they could shoot from outside a little better I think they would be a notch above that and closer to the Wall/Cousins team.

                        People underrate that Monk/Fox team and IMO overrate the Wall/Cousins team. I tend to think those teams are closer than many think simply because if they played in some magical universe, the Wall/Cousins bunch would miss a ton of shots.

                        I thought they were going to be more like the Randle/Twins group but they've improved at a much higher rate. Still think the Randle/Twins team put up one of the better performances of any Cal team, that being the win against Wichita St. Probably the best game of the Cal era.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Will Lavender View Post
                          I think Kentucky is probably legitimately the fourth or fifth best team. Because of inconsistent outside shooting there are a bunch of teams that could beat Kentucky on a neutral, but because of our defense it's going to take a big effort. We've slowly come along to where we're about where Cal's very best teams have been defensively.

                          Duke's ceiling is higher simply because they're so athletic and having the individual stars that they have gives you more of a margin for error. But because of their outside shooting/free throw shooting they're far from invincible. One of the ways UCONN won those two titles was stellar foul shooting. Cal's teams have literally lost national championships because of foul shooting. It obviously matters in tight, ugly games like NCAA Tourney games usually are. If I'm Duke I worry I get into a tight game and my guys start to clank from the stripe.

                          The good news for UK is that it's a pretty soft year in the sport once you get past four or five teams. If something happened to Duke to clear our way to a title I think we've got a good shot if we keep defending like this. The defensive turnaround from November to now for Kentucky is nothing short of staggering.
                          We allowed MSU back in the game Saturday because we let up on defense, then we clamped down on the defensive end, got a couple take-a-ways, and won the game. If this team plays defense for 40 minutes, they are going to be hard to best. And we're shooting almost 75% from the free throw line.
                          John 3:3

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                          • #43
                            Can't disagree with anything I've read. Tonight we play LSU and Saturday UT, both at Rupp. Hard to imagine two bigger games this season all things considered.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Uncle Dave View Post
                              Can't disagree with anything I've read. Tonight we play LSU and Saturday UT, both at Rupp. Hard to imagine two bigger games this season all things considered.
                              Surprisingly we're a 9-point favorite tonight. That seems like a wild line to me but if we can beat LSU by double digits that'll be something.

                              Would be a major letdown to lose before the Tennessee game, particularly in Rupp.

                              And strangely I'll be doing something I've literally never done in my life tonight: rooting for Louisville.

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                              • #45
                                I won't root for Louisville, but I would enjoy an ugly, poorly-played game that ends with Duke losing. Seems unlikely, I know.

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                                Would a 2 Seed in Louisville Region be Better Than a 1 Seed?

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