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Do media members see any scenario where Kentucky could make Final Four run?

Kentucky forward Julius Randle (30) shoots over a Georgia defense during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinal round of the Southeastern Conference men's tournament, Saturday, March 15, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Kentucky forward Julius Randle (30) shoots over a Georgia defense during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinal round of the Southeastern Conference men’s tournament, Saturday, March 15, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

This is the third in a series of stories on the Kentucky season with various media members offering their insights as UK gets set to start NCAA play.

Question: Do you see any scenario where UK could make the Final Four this year after starting the season No. 1?

Ryan Lemond: “Not a chance in France. Only if all the other teams come down with a month long flu bug. There is no way this team has showed me anything to indicate they are a final four team, especially finishing out the season losing three of their last four and nearly four of their last five. No way.”

Larry Glover: “For UK to make the Final Four, they would need a really favorable draw in terms of match ups and the region would need to fall apart a little bit. They also needed to escape the dreaded 7 to 10 seed zone. If so, they would avoid 1 and 2 seeded teams in the first weekend.  That would be a big help.”

Keith Taylor: “No. They would have to make a total transformation from the last two weeks of the season. They haven’t fared well against ranked teams. Do not see any reason to believe it all changes now, especially if opposing teams apply consistent pressure and get the Cats rattled.”

Tyler Thompson: “I think the only way it could have happened is if they won the SEC Tournament. For a group this young, momentum is everything. In my opinion, 95 percent of this team’s problems have been mental, which is completely understandable given their youth and the unreasonable expectations. For this group, it’s never ‘can they beat someone,’ it’s ‘will they beat someone,’ and if they had banded together to win the SEC, they may have finally cleared that mental hurdle and realized their full potential.”

Mary Jo Perino: “No, just being honest. The blueprint on how to beat UK is already out there and established, as much as that pains me to say.”

Mark Buerger: “None. They have shown no sign that they can put together any kind of run, especially against better teams.”

Jennifer Palumbo: “If nothing else, this college basketball season shows anything can happen. At the beginning of the season, who said the only undefeated team would be Wichita State?  I’m not saying UK will be in the Final Four, but why not?”

Tom Leach: “Yes.  Several times this season, I have cited Kentucky’s record in comparison to Michigan’s Fab Five group of 1992 (the only team to start five freshmen in a national championship game).  The overall records and the records against quality teams are quite similar and that ’92 Michigan team seemed to catch fire in the NCAA Tournament and each win fed their momentum.  And that Michigan group was a 6-seed that year.  The odds are against UK making that kind of run but could it happen?  Absolutely.  The seed is not as big a deal if the team gets its game right and we certainly saw signs of that last week in Atanta.”

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  1. Larry Pup

    I agree with Palumbo and Leach. The rest of the media can go suck an egg. They are not prophets as far as I know. To each his own, but the negative remarks kind of tick me off. Had UK won every game they played in the regular season, that would be no guarantee they would go to the final 4 or win the NC. It is March Madness for crying out loud. These same sports writers apparently did not see the last three games in sec tournament play. To have a chance to beat UF ranked No. 1, and should have won, told me a lot about UK right now. They are not NC, but they are a dangerous team when they are on their game.

  2. SuzieCat

    Agreed, anything can happen that is why they call it”March Madness”. Will UK make the Final Four? They would have to catch lightning in a bottle. They need to learn how to make foul shots quickly!

    1. Larry Pup

      The foul shooting hurt them in the regular season, but they improved there in sec tourney play. UK needs to get more scoring from the 4 and 5 spots in the big dance, and the guard play has to continue the way they did in the sec tourney. The 3 point shooting has to be much better. If UK gets hot and starts hitting from medium and long range, look out! All those things can happen and I believe they will. Go CATS!!!!!

  3. LindaS

    That is a loaded question…free throws, defending the three, hitting the three, defending the three, defending the opponents basket, not breaking down on defense, more assists, being more physical, better passing, more passing from certain players, hitting one footers, there has not been a complete game yet and until there is I don’t see it happening…

    1. Larry Pup

      My, is this the same LindaS our stalwart fan that said she never gives up on her CATS or words to that effect? You surprise me Linda with this comment, but then many who post here would certainly agree with you. A team can achieve greatness without a lot of verbal fan support. That happens when they rise to the occasion and as a unit play for keeps. I have seen teams written off in my day do the impossible. I say GO CATS!!! Go win it!!! I believe in this team and this coach.

  4. Joe Montgomery

    remember Villanova!

  5. RJ

    I would love it if the Cats make a run but they haven’t shown that ability yet. To make a serious run at it, the Cats will have to shoot much, much better from the key and beyond to pull the opponent out of the paint so that the Cats can use its height. Secondly, our match-up defense has to be much, much better. You can’t give good shooters uncontested shots. Lastly, the Cats foot speed has not matched up well against the top teams.

    It will be a long shot but I hope they pull it off.

  6. OldFan

    Anything is possible for any of the teams in the tournament. Villanova is a good example as is the Fab Five. However, I believe against the competition they will be facing, WCS will have to show up every game. I am not sure he is ready for that kind of a challenge at this point in his career. I hope he is, and I believe Johnson can play a big part in how far they go, but I think WCS is the real key.

    1. Larry Pup

      OldFan I couldn’t agree with you more, WCS must play strong for this UK team to advance. I believe he will.

      1. OldFan

        I really hope he does, but I have my doubts about either his desire or determination. Not sure which, but he seems to fade for some reason. Could be the best big man in the country if he wanted to be.

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