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A Fighting Chance

For 36 times this season, college teams have given the Kentucky Wildcats their best shot, and for 36 times each of their foes have come up empty. With a talent-laden roster that would make the Lakers drool, Kentucky is just four wins from being the standard for college basketball excellence. The general consensus is that the Wildcats best competition this season has been each other in practice and therefore the Vegas bookies have predicted double figure wins in all of their games.

With nine NBA prospects in the rotation, no other college team has the talent to match up with them. They have great guards but their real strength is the size and skill of their bigs.

West Virginia knows that they can’t match up man for man with Kentucky, so expect them to make the game ugly. Their head coach, Bob Huggins, has never been confused with a choir boy. He groomed former bruisers Danny Fortson and Kenyon Martin at Cincinnati where he created a culture of thuggery on and off the court.

In the Mountaineers Second Round game against Maryland last week, at least three of Huggin’s players could have been charged with assault. They physically pounded the Terp’s guards from the opening tip until finally Melo Trimble was tapped out by the medical staff after his tenth time hitting the floor. Even though Maryland fans understood they had no chance to win with Trimble on the bench, they were relieved he wouldn’t further risk his health with the West Virginia mugging taking place.

True to his character, Huggins will push the boundaries of physical play against Kentucky and deploy his henchmen in uniform to counter-punch the Wildcat’s skilled players. He knows his only chance to compete with them is to make the game a slug-fest.  But Kentucky’s players are too gifted and disciplined for that and will make West Virginia their 37th victim!

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