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Kentucky Wildcats

1. Billy G Is Not My Lover. Many fans wanted Tubby Smith out for a long, long time in the Commonwealth, so with that exodus they got Billy Gillespie. The Wildcats had a 6-7 record following a loss to now-hated Rick Pitino, and everyone thought that ol' Billy Boy might not be the guy after all. Panic ensued, then Gillespie really proved to be the grinder (crouch down low, coach, show us how much you care!) and has been named the SEC coach of the year. So, just to recap: Billy Gillespie became a much better coach in 2008, which bodes well for the 'Cats.

2. Ashley Judd Loves the Streaking. With their resurgence, Kentucky continues their impressive streak of tournaments made, making it 17 straight this year. (That accomplishment is only bested by fellow '07-08 underachieving squad Arizona, who has danced 24 straight years, and Kansas.) Even more impressive? The Wildcats have never lost in the first round during that span.


3. Kentucky Doesn't Have the Horses. The 'Cats have been crippled the entire year with injuries and have only been able to consistently play seven players at any segment of the season. They recently lost their best player, freshman standout Patrick Patterson. Patterson was an undeniable, extremely impressive force inside, but he's gone with a broken foot. This is a squad that very much relies on their perimeter shooting to a fault, so without Patterson to lasso in those rebounds, they will need to look to the crafty play of senior Brooklyn-bred point guard Ramel Bradley and the indispensable Derrick Jasper. But, as any true Wildcat fan knows, this team's barometer is the play of Joe Crawford, who value is as incalculable as any player in the nation. — College Hoops Journal

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