Kentucky, Kentucky, Kentucky! That’s about all you’ve heard about since Luther Vandross dropped those angel whispers of One Shining Moment on us back in April. Yes, Kentucky has the talent to be observed as the outright favorite to win the National Championship but there are a handful of other worthy opponents that can interrupt a bluegrass march through March.
Mississippi State and Tennessee provide the dangerous combination of experience and talent. Both programs biggest loss in the off season was probably a concessions employee and we’re positive that won’t be enough to cause for a first round exit like last year (MSU to Washington, UT to OK ST). South Carolina carries five seniors and arguably the best point guard in the conference in Devan Downey. Of course, we sidebar the previous statement with the ability to hold an exception based on the unproven
Jesus Shuttlesworth John Wall of Kentucky.
The Commodores of Vanderbilt and Billy Donovan’s Florida Gators are sophomore heavy but possess the cohesion required to play spoiler on any given night.
After the newly acquired Calipari takes Rupp Arena, we’re sure the hype will fall true behind the broad shoulders of our pick to take home Conference Player of the Year honors, Patrick Patterson.
Where there is hype, there is Hocus Pocus and we think that the Southeastern Conference could be most wide-open races.
Our breakdown is after the jump.
Tourney teams (in order of conference finish)
2. Mississippi State
4. South Carolina
6. Ole Miss
All Conference Team
- Patrick Patterson, Kentucky
- Tasmin Mitchell, LSU
- Devan Downey, South Carolina
- Jarvis Varnado, Miss St.
- John Wall, Kentucky
Most overrated – John Calipari’s character judgment
Most underrated – Mississippi State’s balance and experience. Florida’s recent ability to find themselves in the NIT.
Notable non-conference match-ups:
- 12/5 – North Carolina @ Kentucky
- 12/9 – Kentucky @ UCONN
- 1/10 - Kansas @ Tennessee
- 12/19 – Tennessee @ USC
- 11/27 - Florida @ Michigan State
Five story lines to keep tabs on:
- John Wall. Can he be the Carmelo or Derrick Rose of Kentucky
- Will Mississippi State let the Final Four talks come to their demise as they accumulate the wins?
- Tennessee faces the toughest non-conference schedule with USC, Memphis and Kansas. Will the Vol’s use that help their seeding or ruin it?
- Anthony Grant. Can Grant bring what worked at VCU to the Southeastern Conference? We think…yes.
- Courtney Fortson’s hair length or Wayne Chism’s headband.