Busting Brackets

5 teams most on upset alert during 2024 Champ Week

These teams have established themselves as some of the top teams in their conference throughout the regular season and are locks for the NCAA Tournament, but could be susceptible in the win-or-go-home conference tournaments this week.

Purdue v Michigan
Purdue v Michigan / Mike Mulholland/GettyImages
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. Seed: 2. . 23-8 (13-5). . 1. Kentucky. . . 528

There’s a narrative developing around Kentucky that the Wildcats are starting to figure it out on the defensive end of the floor and are turning into a national title contender right before our eyes. Sadly for Cats fans, the numbers just don’t back that up. 

For the season, Kentucky is 186th in defensive efficiency at 1.029 points per possession, and over their last three games, which includes wins over Arkansas, Vanderbilt, and No. 5 Tennessee, that number has actually gone up to 1.090, which would rank 322nd in the nation. 

Reed Sheppard and Rob Dillingham are the two most dynamic freshmen in the country and with all the talent that Cal assembled in Lexington, this team can outscore anyone, but if the shots aren’t falling, or a physical team like Mississippi State or Texas A&M slows the game down, then the Wildcats could have a very short stay in Nashville. 

Kentucky’s 85-81 win over Tennessee in Knoxville on Saturday was a statement, but Kentucky turned it over 16 times in that game, allowed 15 offensive rebounds, and allowed a 40-spot to Dalton Knecht. Just because the Vols shot 28/74 from the field three days after clinching the regular season SEC title and undoubtedly celebrating in downtown Knoxville afterward, doesn’t mean that Calipari has fixed this team’s defense.

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