Sweet 16 Bracket: Can Kentucky Be Beaten?

Alex OlivaContributor IMarch 24, 2010

NEW ORLEANS - MARCH 20:  John Wall #11 of the Kentucky Wildcats celebrates during the second round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the New Orleans Arena on March 20, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Dave Martin/Getty Images)
Dave Martin/Getty Images

Driving home from Panama City, I finally was able to pick up basketball on the radio, and what is the first thing I hear?

The demise of the great Kansas Jayhawks.

This made me very happy, because after a whole week of Kansas people telling me about their future national championship, it was no more.

Still, that loss got me worried about the Kentucky game getting ready to start. It didn't matter—we blasted Wake Forest and stroll into the Sweet 16 with an average margin of victory of 29 points.

So with the fall of the Mighty Jayhawks, I got to thinking, who can beat Kentucky? Well, if you have read my previous article on "The Five Teams Kentucky Doesn't Want to Play," you will see that two of those teams are left: Syracuse and Kansas State.

I will talk about one of those teams, but first I want to talk about Kentucky.

This is a team that in my humble opinion is peaking at exactly the right time. The tournament Wildcats are finally doing what I have wanted them to do all year. They are running teams out of the gym. This team is keeping its foot on the throat of the enemy for the full 40 minutes.

Like I said, this team has won the last two games by 29 points and beat Tennessee by the same number before the SEC championship game. In each game there has been a new star, with Eric Bledsoe and Darius Miller having career games. The added scoring and suffocating defense that takes team stars out of the game makes this team unstoppable.

So who can beat this team? Well, I have to concede to the usual cliché that anyone can win on any day, but with that said, I think there is only one team that could possibly beat Kentucky when they're playing their best.

The one team that could possibly beat Kentucky is Syracuse. The Orange have been great all year, and even without their main inside presence, they have been dominating in the tournament. If Syracuse continues playing the way they are it could be an interesting national championship.

Yes, I just said it: an interesting national championship.

This is because I finally think that Kentucky will win the whole thing. Yes, there are the teams that can beat us; we are not invincible, but we're close to it right now.

This is a team on a thunderous roll. The Big Red are about to run into a Big Blue buzz saw. Many of the pundits right now are picking Cornell to beat the 'Cats. I guess I could be wrong, but this will not happen.

We are the team with the athleticism, size, speed, and tradition. Kentucky now has a big target on their backs, but I wouldn't have it any other way. When you're the best, everyone else just wants to put you down.

People are not ready to give Kentucky anything, so we will have to take it—we will take our eighth national championship. These 'Cats, like the 1996 team, are full of talent and will play the Orange in the championship again. Yes, this is a team that can be beat, but it will refuse to lose.