6. Kentucky (11-2)
Nobody could argue against Kentucky being the best program in the SEC, whether that’s total history or even the past decade. John Calipari’s squad has had some impressive talent and won a lot of games, but we’re more than a decade removed from that last national title and the rest of this conference has been getting stronger in recent years. Can these Wildcats maintain a foothold as one of the league’s elite?
If anything, they answered that question this past week with their first game of the New Year. The Wildcats traveled into enemy territory and left Gainesville with an 87-85 win at Florida. A strong 50-point second half erased an 8-point halftime deficit, with 19 points from Antonio Reeves, and 14 apiece from Reed Sheppard and D. J. Wagner.
The young talent on this team has been sensational at times and the Wildcats’ strong offense pushed them to a fifth straight victory. Their only loss in the last six weeks was that head scratcher against UNC Wilmington and its clear that Kentucky has put that far in the rearview mirror. They start SEC play with a tough, hard-earned road win and have another toughie next Saturday at Texas A&M.