The Kentucky Wildcats have been spectacular through inter-conference play, which on paper is the hardest part of their schedule. The Wildcats are 13-0 with 5 of those wins coming against top 25 opponents. Kentucky had their biggest test of the season so far when they took on their rival, 5th ranked Louisville. They defeated the Cardinals 58-50 and were led offensively by freshman guard Tyler Ulis, who came off the bench and scored 14 points. Kentucky was able to hold them to only 1 assist the entire. As Kentucky wins more and more games this raises the question of who will be able to beat them.
Kentucky has only conference games remaining this season and the SEC this season has been very weak. The SEC has no other ranked teams besides Kentucky and judging by the performance of the other teams, there may not be a SEC team that is able to defeat the Wildcats. However there teams that will have a better shot at it then others. Last year, Kentucky struggled heavily in conference play, they suffered 7 losses to SEC with Florida and Arkansas each taking 2 wins from them.
Out of their remaining games, I am saying that FLORIDA will have the best chance to beat Kentucky. The Gators are off to a rough start this season as they have fallen out of the top 25, where they started the season ranked 7th in the nation and are currently 7-4 and 1-3 against ranked opponents. Last Season Florida defeated Kentucky twice. Others may believe that Arkansas will have the better chance to defeat the Wildcats but they do not match up as well as Florida does. Also Arkansas only has one game of experience against top 25 opponents this season (#9 Iowa State which they lost to on the road). Lastly they only play Kentucky once and that is on the road at Kentucky, and Arkansas historically carries out its upsets at home.
There are many are many reasons why I am saying that Florida will have the best chance at defeating the Wildcats this season. The first reason is because of the amount of opportunities the Gators will have to beat Kentucky, they have two scheduled games against them plus the possibility of playing them in the SEC tournament at the end of the season. Other reasons include, the difficulty to win in Gainesville. The O’Connell Center is a very loud place to play and this makes it difficult for visiting teams and Kentucky will visit on March 7th which is the last game of season for both teams. This is the ideal time for the Gators to win because if Florida suffers a loss at Kentucky on February 7th they will have time to regain strength and be able to bounce back for a revenge win at home. Florida also has the most experience against top teams besides Kentucky. The Gators have the talent to defeat the Wildcats. They match up well against Kentucky in height and they have the athletic availability to keep up with them.
Outside of the SEC, DUKE have the best chance to defeat Kentucky this season. Duke has played a very difficult season so far and it is not going to get any easier. This will give Duke an advantage as over other teams because they will have more experience and time to prepare than any other team in the nation. Both Kentucky and Duke are young teams with Duke being slightly younger. Player wise they both match up extremely well also. Kentucky and Duke are both used to controlling the tempo of their games, but Duke will have more experience adapting in the end because of the many different types of offenses and defenses that they will see this season.
Overall Kentucky is an extremely strong team and will be very difficult to beat. Although many believe that Kentucky will finish the season undefeated based on the weakness of the SEC going forward a loss can happen. While Kentucky may lose to another team this season, this is who I believe will have the best chance to defeat Kentucky.