Breitbart Sports was ahead of others in saying on February 16 that Kentucky was heading out of the tournament, and by 10 days ago we had them a full five spots out of the tournament at No. 12 in the Middle 20. After what should have been a showdown to see if Nerlens Noel or Georgia’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (KCP) was the best player in the NBA turned into a showcase for KCP, the rest of the sports media is starting to agree with us.
The debate is over on Player of the Year in the SEC. KCP pumped in 24 points and dominated the boards for 10 rebounds to back up his Breitbart Sports All-American selection. Noel, unfortunately for Kentucky, has had Kentucky lose its fourth straight road game starting with the game in which his season ended with a torn ACL.
Noel was worth a 9 percent shift in Kentucky’s points, the 11th best total in the country, when he went down. Once he was gone their best player was Kyle Wiltjer – who has been ranked around the 300th best player in the country.
It is hard to see that a team led by Wiltjer can go into Florida and pull an upset over the No. 11, but Kentucky will have to either do it there or in the SEC tournament to claim a bid.