NCAA March Madness Betting: Can Kentucky complete the perfect season?
Every year we see different stories surrounding March Madness but in 2015 one story dominates all, can Kentucky complete the perfect season? Our NCAA guy Neil Monnery investigates...
"Kentucky are the best team. They are battle tested. They have the most talent. They have a great coach. They haven't lost yet this season and they seem like they can deal with the pressure."
NCAA March Madness
March 17 - April 6 2015
Live on BT Sport/ESPN
The Kentucky Wildcats didn't cut down the nets after they won the SEC Tournament on Sunday. The reasons differ depending on who you speak to but one thing is clear, they have bigger fish to fry than the SEC.
Going through a season undefeated is pretty rare, it hasn't happened since 1976 when Bob Knight's Indiana tore it up. Yet here we are with the overwhelming favourite coming into the campaign living up to all the hype. Kentucky are a basketball blue blood and coach John Calipari is widely regarded as one of - if not the best - currently plying his trade at the collegiate level.
They are currently [2.1] on the exchange to run the table and win the seven games to take them to 41-0 immortality. Considering that last year Florida went in as favourites and were available at [6.0], this shows just how good the punters think Kentucky are. This isn't your Wildcats of the past few years though, they have starters who aren't freshmen. The Harrison twins are both back and are Sophomores along with Junior, Willie Cauley-Stein. Karl-Anthony Towns is the star freshman but this team have it all and have faced defeat and battled back to win.
They are the prohibitive favourites but we have to look at some of the other 67 teams that are in the tournament.
The other #1 seeds are Villanova, Duke and Wisconsin. I have none of them going to the Final Four in my bracket. Duke have been prone to blips this season including two bad losses in January. In recent years though they've had these blips in the tournament, last year they went down to #14 Mercer in the first round. They won't falter that early this year but I don't like them if they face Iowa State and their up-tempo offence in the Elite Eight.
Villanova are the only #1 seed I don't have even reaching that stage, going down in the Sweet Sixteen at the hands of Northern Iowa. They play such a slow game that I see them frustrating Villanova and they've proved they can win against decent teams having beaten Iowa, Wichita State and having a thrilling double-overtime loss to VCU. Every year some team rolls in and surprises a few and I have Northern Iowa going to the Final Four from the East region.
Wisconsin are the final #1 seed and this is the only region where I am going chalk with #1 v #2 in the Elite Eight. Arizona could easily have been on the #1 line and are liked by many talking heads on American TV. I have Arizona going to the Final Four out of the West region.
But still we have to come back to Kentucky. They are the best team. They are battle tested. They have the most talent. They have a great coach. They haven't lost yet this season and they seem like they can deal with the pressure.
I'll give a good priced long-shot to go with the obvious but back against Kentucky at your own peril.
Back Kentucky to win at [2.1]
Back Iowa State to win at [40.0]