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Dick Vitale’s preseason Sweet 16 has Kentucky No. 3

Dick Vitale  thinks an improved EJ Montgomery will be big for UK this year. (ESPN Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

One reason I’ve always loved Dick Vitale is that he thinks basketball non-stop. No matter what else is going on, Vitale always has college basketball first.

That’s why it is no surprise just as the college football season is getting ready to start, Vitale has announced his preseason Sweet 16 for college basketball.

Here’s what he had to say about his top five choices:

1. Kansas Jayhawks

Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk! Bill Self was happy to have Udoka Azubuike return and if he stays healthy, watch out. Devon Dotson also comes back and a nice nucleus returns.

2. Michigan State Spartans

Cassius Winston is a legitimate Wooden Award candidate. A healthy Joshua Langford can be a major factor. Just sorry that Nick Ward is not back.

3. Kentucky Wildcats

John Calipari will reload. Newcomers Kahlil Whitney and Tyrese Maxey should have an immediate impact. Ashton Hagans will have a big year and EJ Montgomery should improve.

4. Duke Blue Devils

No Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett or Cam Reddish, no problem. Tre Jones is back and Vernon Carey Jr. is the next diaper dandy to step up.
Editor’s Picks

5. Louisville Cardinals

Chris Mack has done a great job in a short time. Jordan Nwora is back and big things are expected from 6-foot-7 Samuell Williamson. Transfer LaMarr “Fresh” Kimble from St. Joseph’s will help.

Completing his top 16 in order are Florida, Gonzaga, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, Memphis, Villanova, Arizona, Texas Tech, Seton Hall and Ohio State.

Of course, in Vitale’s top 16, UK will play No. 2 Michigan State, No. 5 Louisville, No. 6 Florida (twice) and No. 14 Texas Tech. That’s a pretty potent schedule.

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  1. Not having a dominant big will get exposed in the MSU game. If Calipari follows his past approach to season openers, we will look disorganized and shell shocked as MSU puts a Duke type whooping on us. Remember, coach thinks having a team prepared to play elite competition in November is detrimental to the season’s outcome. Will he get us back to form by the Louisville game? I see the lack of a good big being a problem all season long.

    1. And UK football will get wiped out vs. Auburn ??

  2. If your prediction of Cal leaving in 22 holds true, why not bring in Mack. He has done outstanding job in short time. If Pitino can do it why not Mack….let’s hear it from Pup and Hornet….ha ha

  3. Repeat buttons from Mike and Catmandoo.

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