Kentucky Opens NCAA Season as Heavy Favorites

Kentucky

The NCAA 2014-15 is underway and no less than the Kentucky Wildcats are projected to be the favorites to win this year’s title. The team is simply stacked with talent. They have nine All-Americans and  their recent commitments from two top-caliber players in Skal Labissierie and Isaiah Briscoe may have just taken them over the top. John Calipari will now have to find a way to use all this talent in an optimal fashion, lest his team suffer an unfortunate dilemma having too much talent and not enough flexibility to play around it. Will coach Calipari’s intended platoon-style system pay off and wear the opposition down with ease while preserving his players’ health for the grueling post-season? We will have to wait and see.

Arizona is of course in the mix this year, with the addition of versatile big man Stanley Johnson. At 201 cm and 104 kilograms , Johnson is a freakish physical specimen. He can play shooting guard or small forward, but has the body to bang in the paint with the big boys. Johnson will be an interesting complement to Arizona’s veteran frontcourt duo of Brandon Ashley and Kaleb Tarczewski.

After Wisconsin’s heartbreaking loss to Kentucky, which kept them out of the title game, Wisconsin is looking to build on the progress they made in 2013-14 season to go deep this year. With coach Bo Ryan at the helm, Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker will be ready to do some damage during the season once again.

Jahlil Okafor
Duke’s prize addition: Jahlil Okafor

And of course, there’s the Duke Blue Devils, who are ranked No. 4 coming into the 2014-15 season. They have a solid, “true big man” in rookie Jahlil Okafor. He is ready to contribute and is expected to have a huge season. He’s so talented that Okafor is already projected to be a one-and-done player who will make the leap to the NBA after this year. Before all is said and done though, Mike Krzyzewski will have the opportunity to make the most of having a legitimate and lethal threat in the low post, who is known to be an excellent passer from the double team.

Rounding out the Top 8 teams this 2014-15 season are the Kansas Jayhawks, the UNC Tar Heels, Louisville Cardinals, and the Florida Gators. Just outside and waiting in the wings are solid teams from Virginia, Wichita State and Gonzaga.

Now that NCAA Mens basketball season starts, we should hang onto our seats and enjoy the ride. Who are your favorites to take the title this year? All favorites saw action on the NCAA opening night and all of them won with a big margin. For example, Duke won by 113-44 vs Presbyterian and Wisconsin held Northern Kentucky to only 31 points (62-31. Kentucky beat Grand Canyon with 85-45 and Arizona won with 78-55 vs Mount St.Mary’s.

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