By LARRY VAUGHT
What would be more surprising — Kentucky reaching the Final Four or Kentucky losing in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament?
That’s the question I recently asked Blue Ribbon College Basketball publisher Chris Dortch. He never hesitated with his answer.
“A first-round loss would surprise me,” Dortch said.
Why? Kentucky did lose to Evansville and Utah, two teams likely not as good as UK’s first-round NCAA opponent and the Cats have also had a ton of close games this year.
“In those early games you will be against a team generally speaking that will be outmatched physically in the post,” Dortch said. “If you get a team that has a post player who can play, then that is one who you put money on for an upset special in the first round.
“If not, I think Kentucky will dominate with size and guard play. I like the way Kentucky defends when it is at its best and I like the blend inside and then you have three guards who are interchangeable.
“So in a first-round matchup, I just think Nick Richards as a rim protector and then an offensive force to go with those guards will just be too much unless a team happens to have a really good post player and that’s usually not the case with first-round matchups.”