After seeing all 18 UK basketball games in person, this I believe:
■ I believe that Michael Kidd-Gilchrist remains one of the most unique basketball players I have seen. The sum of his effort is truly greater than the individual parts.
Consider his defense. The freshman made a key steal after Tennessee came out of a timeout with 4:46 remaining and the Cats up 58-54.
Consider his rebounding. When the Cats came out of a timeout with 1:28 left, it was Kidd-Gilchrist that rebounded teammate Doron Lamb's miss, which led to an Anthony Davis basket and a 62-54 Kentucky lead.
■ I believe the most under-reported statistic is the one that shows Kentucky has held its last 51 opponents under 50 percent shooting from the field.
■ I believe that Anthony Davis is the one person who could have blocked Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's hook shot.
■ I believe that at crunch time, this team can turn up the defensive heat.
At Auburn last Wednesday, the Cats held the host Tigers to six points over the final 10:51.
Saturday at Tennessee, the Cats held the Vols without a point from the 6:55 mark until Skylar McBee drained a three-pointer with 37 seconds left.
■ I believe Saturday showed Kentucky doesn't have to shoot three-pointers to win. The Cats took just five shots from beyond the arc, the fewest in the John Calipari Era. They hit just two. Kyle Wiltjer nailed one. Kidd-Gilchrist hit the other.
■ I believe Terrence Jones is slowly, but surely, rounding back to form. He's scored in double-figures four straight games.
■ I believe John Calipari will continue to say nice things about Tennessee — now that Bruce Pearl is no longer the coach.
■ I believe Jarnell Stokes will be a stud. He looks a little like Wes Unseld.
■ I believe Doron Lamb will snap out of his slump. Since his 26-point effort against Samford, Lamb has made just 18 of 47 shots, including just six of 20 three-point attempts.
■ I believe that what we believed before the season began is actually true — Kentucky and Vanderbilt are the class of the SEC, with Florida close behind.
■ I believe the Cats will lose either at Gainesville or Nashville. Maybe both. Starkville won't be easy either.
■ I believe Calipari's assistants don't get enough credit. Anthony Davis referred to his work with Kenny Payne as the key to his face-up bucket with 51 seconds left that put UK ahead 62-54.
■ I believe Marquis Teague is a tough kid. He's had his ups and downs this year. He's played like a freshman at a position his predecessors made famous, but he is improving.
Teague played his best defensive game of the year Saturday, holding the Vols' Trae Golden to a season-low two points.
■ I believe that, as a senior, Darius Miller will play his best basketball down the stretch, much as he did last year.
■ I believe that if UK encounters trouble in March, critics will point to the minutes logged. Saturday, Kidd-Gilchrist (39), Marquis Teague (38) and Anthony Davis (35) logged a combined 112 minutes.
■ I believe, in the end, it won't matter. This is a Final Four team. That's no guarantee it will get to New Orleans. But this is a Final Four-quality team.
Reach John Clay at (859) 231-3226 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 3226, or email@example.com. Read his blog at Kentucky.com.