By LARRY VAUGHT
Baylor managed to win at Florida Saturday night and avoid having another No. 1 team get upset. However, the parity in college basketball remains obvious.
Just ask Kentucky coach John Calipari. His team is 13th in this week’s Associated Press poll and will take a 15-4 record into Wednesday night’s home game with Vanderbilt. Yet Texas Tech coach Chris Beard, who got the Red Raiders to the 2019 Final Four, said after Saturday’s loss to the Cats that UK not only was a potential Final Four team but also a potential national champion
“The players, the teams, the leagues – there’s just parity. There were times I could remember being on phone calls and saying, ‘Look, guys, there’s eight teams that have a chance to win the national title and there’s 20 that have a chance to get to the Final Four,'” Calipari said.
“I’d tell you right now that there may be 25 teams that could win the national title (this year). There may be 60, 70 teams that could get to a Final Four. You’re talking leagues that have some teams that people are watching and saying, ‘They have a terrific guard that can bust it and shoot balls, but they’ve also got a couple big guys.'”
Seton Hall is ranked 10th with a 15-4 record. Calipari says it has the dynamic guard who can score 30 points in a game and inside players to be in a Final Four. Same with No. 12 West Virginia (16-3).
“I talked to (West Virginia coach) Bob Huggins not long ago and I told him, ‘Jeez you’ve got rebounding, your toughness, your defense, your scoring.’ I said, ‘Bob. You guys can do this (win the national title),'” Calipari said.
“I mean, it’s crazy. There’s not many years like that, and that’s why I keep coming back to what I have on my wall big as day: Coach your team. None of the other stuff matters. It makes no bearing on what we need to do here.”