Kentucky suddenly looks like the team we thought they were going to be all along.
The Wildcats two beat NCAA tournament teams this week, going into Fayetteville and knocking off Arkansas by 15 points before they blew out Missouri at home by 21. Jarred Vanderbilt is playing the way we all had hoped he would play this season. Kevin Knox has been more consistent. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Quade Green have both been terrific.
But perhaps the most important part here is that John Calipari figured out what he needs his team to do in order to win basketball games.
He needs to play his small-ball lineup. He needs to rely on the four players I just mentioned along with Wenyen Gabriel and P.J. Washington. That’s his core, and it is not a coincidence that Kentucky’s best basketball this team has come when he’s been playing those guys the most minutes
THEY WERE GOOD, TOO
- DUKE: Duke suddenly looks like they are the best team in the country after figuring out their defense. they gave up 100 total points in two games this week, they got Marvin Bagley III back healthy and they kept Wendell Carter eligible. Not a bad week.
- KANSAS: The Jayhawks clinched at least a share of the Big 12 regular season title. And given everything that the team has been through this year, it begs the question: Is this the best coaching job that Bill Self has ever done?
- OREGON: The Ducks had their best week of the season to date, knocking off both Arizona State and Arizona — the only two teams in the Pac-12 that are actually good teams — including a double-digit comeback against the latter on Saturday night. They’re probably not a tournament team just yet But they’re closer now than they were a week ago.