Many are searching for the "blueprint" to beat Kentucky. Here are five reasons no one has yet been able to find one:
If Dakari Johnson scores at least two points against West Virginia, it will give UK eight players with 200 points or more this season. As John Calipari explained last week in Louisville, the benefit of having a rotation of nine high-level players instead of say, six, is you can have three guys perform poorly in any game and still have six playing well enough to win.
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Conventional wisdom is that the key to beating Kentucky is unleashing a three-point barrage. Problem with that is, opponents have shot only 27 percent on treys against the Cats this year. A big reason for that is, of Kentucky's top nine players, all but 5-foot-9 Tyler Ulis stands 6-6 or taller. Three-point shooters don't get many clean looks against the Cats.
Willie Cauley-Stein is the only player in Kentucky's regal basketball history to have more than 200 blocked shots (226) and 100 steals (113) in a career. The single factor that has made UK's defense so stifling is having a 7-footer so athletic he can switch and guard any position on the floor at any time.
A robust 34.5 percent of Kentucky's points this season have come at the rim — dunks or layups. Any team that can get more than a third of its scoring at the basket is at a big advantage.
Before a roaring home crowd, LSU went on a 21-2 run against Kentucky to take a 66-60 lead with 7:29 left in the game. The Cats then gritted out a 71-69 win. At Georgia, Mark Fox had a stellar game plan against Kentucky. The Bulldogs led by nine with 9:12 left and by six with 5:36 left. UK then gutted out a 72-64 victory. When pushed, Kentucky's will to win has been every bit as impressive as its talent level.