LEXINGTON, Ky. — It was kind of a big last four days for Kentucky basketball: The Wildcats rattled off three straight wins and survived a slugfest with Tennessee to take the SEC Tournament title, drew a tough NCAA Tournament path and picked up their first commitment from the Class of 2019.
Host Curtis Burch and beat writer Kyle Tucker break down all of that — plus the latest edition of Jarred Vanderbilt Watch — on Wildcat Country, your daily UK podcast presented by SEC Country. The rundown:
- What were Kyle’s impressions of the Cats in St. Louis? Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was MVP, Wenyen Gabriel went bonkers and Sacha Killeya-Jones made Kyle look good for banging the drum to get him more playing time. Kentucky has won seven of eight games — those last three without Vanderbilt — and looks very much like a Final Four contender again.
- The bad news? As a No. 5 seed sent to Boise, Idaho, on short rest, the Cats could face a really good Arizona team (with maybe the best player in the country, Deandre Ayton) in the second round — then the No. 1 overall seed, Virginia, in the Sweet 16.
- Potentially worse news: Calipari told Kyle on Monday that Vanderbilt is unlikely to play this weekend and is a “maybe” if the Cats get to the Sweet 16 next week. What do we make of his comments and have we seen the last of Vando in blue and white?
- Kentucky picked up a prized recruit to kickstart its 2019 class: 6-foot-7 small forward D.J. Jeffries, ranked the 26th-best prospect in the country. He’s a notable pledge for many reasons, not the least of which is he plays for Penny Hardaway’s AAU team (Hardaway is a hot name to get a college coaching job soon and the theory is he’d lure some of his star high school and AAU players to join him) and plays with No. 1 overall 2019 recruit James Wiseman.