Kentucky Wildcats Basketball Ready for NCAA’s Sweet 16


Top 5 stories making headlines in Kentucky Wildcats basketball for Thursday, March 26, 2015 as team prepares for NCAA’s Sweet 16

The best thing about Willie Cauley-Stein is that he isn’t the stereotypical basketball player who is only interested in basketball and nothing else. No, WCS is as multidimensional as his defensive abilities. But one thing is certain: after a couple of years of having his love of basketball questioned, Willie is ready for those questions to end. Kyle Tucker writers:

"“Maybe there was a time when Willie Cauley-Stein wasn’t sure if he loved basketball. But it’s way back there now, fading away in the rearview mirror, left behind somewhere in Spearville, Kan.That notion has been dogging him for years. In high school, it was because he played too many sports. University of Kentucky coach John Calipari likes to joke that he never saw Cauley-Stein actually on the basketball court when he came to recruit him. Once, goes the gag (or is it?), Calipari found him playing badminton.”"

Just 16 teams remain in the 2015 NCAA Tournament. How do those 16 teams stack up against each other? The number 1 team isn’t a surprise. John Clay writes:

"“1. Kentucky: The tournament’s overall No. 1 seed needs to pick it up on offense, but the Cats won each of their two Louisville games by double digits, so there’s not a lot to complain about. Cincinnati’s vigorous press rattled John Calipari’s club a bit, but UK now has four days to prepare for West Virginia’s tough backcourt traps. It also helps that Kentucky has big guards who can throw over the WVU defense.”"

As Kentucky prepares to play on Thursday, seemingly all anyone can talk about is how to beat the Wildcats. Jason King writes:

"“The riddle may have finally been solved.All season long, coaches across the country have tried unsuccessfully to devise a plan to topple the top-ranked Kentucky basketball team. Now, as the 36-0 Wildcats prepare to open play in the Sweet 16, one man believes he’s finally found the answer.‘Honestly,’ Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy said, ‘you just have to hope they play really, really bad.’Kennedy chuckled.But only slightly.”"

It’s one thing to be confident, especially when you’re one day away from taking on an undefeated Kentucky team that is currently even money to win the NCAA men’s college basketball championship. But there is a very fine line between being confident and cocky. West Virginia freshman Daxter Miller hasn’t figured that out yet. Eamonn Brennan writes:

"“The 36-0 Kentucky Wildcats may be the best college basketball team in the country — and just four games away from a historic 40-0 finish — but No. 5-seeded Sweet 16 opponent West Virginia has them beat in at least one category:Confidence.‘I give them their props,’ West Virginia freshman guard Daxter Miles Jr. told reporters Wednesday. ‘Salute them to getting to 36-0. But tomorrow they’re gonna be 36-1.’Miles said the Wildcats ‘don’t play hard,’ and should fear the Mountaineers — not the other way around.”"

Does Kentucky have the talent to win 4 more games and go unbeaten? Of course they do. Will they? That’s an entirely different question. Gary Parrish writes:

"“Willie Cauley-Stein nearly hit his head on the rim while dunking. Dick Vitale planted a fat one on Ashley Judd. A record-setting crowd turned a neutral court at Bridgestone Arena into what amounted to a home game. Kentucky won. Confetti fell. John Calipari accepted the SEC Tournament trophy, grabbed a mic and called his fans crazy. Then UK’s players exited the stage positioned at center court and walked straight past a ladder placed under a basket, at which point everybody started trying to figure out exactly what message these Wildcats were sending to the rest of the nation two Sundays ago.”"