Kentucky Men's Basketball 2020 NCAA Tournament Capsule


Kentucky Wildcats

SEC (25-6, 15-3)

There were some bumps along the way, but Kentucky has nearly lived up to their very lofty preseason expectations. By the time SEC play rolled around, this was a Wildcats team that was playing very good basketball. What once was a young group is now a relatively experienced squad that has the talent to reach the Final Four and beyond.
Big Wins: 11/5 vs Michigan State (69-62), 12/28 Louisville (78-70), 2/29 Auburn (73-66)
Bad Losses: 11/12 Evansville (64-67), 12/18 vs Utah (66-69), 1/15 at South Carolina (78-81)
Coach: John Calipari
Why They Can Surprise:
The backcourt trio of Immanuel Quickley, Ashton Hagans and Tyrese Maxey have led the way. Quickley was a roleplayer as a freshman, but turned into a star as a sophomore, averaging 16.1 points per game. Quickley knocked down 42.8 percent of his attempts from long range and is by far the most prolific outside shooter on the team. Hagans experience as a starting point guard paid dividends this season. The sophomore dished out 6.4 assists per game on top of his 11.5 points and is a fine leader on the floor. As expected, Maxey has turned into a major scoring threat as a freshman. Those three, along with forward Nick Richards, get to the charity stripe on a regular basis and even on those rare occasions when Kentucky is struggling to shoot the ball, they will still put points on the board.
Why They Can Disappoint:
And it is very important for Kentucky to score at the charity stripe since they will not create too many buckets off turnovers and their three-point shooting is pretty much non-existent outside of Quickley. Reserve forward Nate Sestina is consistent shooting the ball, but he has not gotten the opportunity to stretch the defense on a regular basis. When, or if, Kentucky falters in the NCAA Tournament, it will likely be an off shooting night against a team that can match their size and athleticism on the perimeter.
Probable Starters:
Immanuel Quickley, Sophomore, Guard, 16.1 ppg, 1.9 apg, 4.2 rpg
Ashton Hagans, Sophomore, Guard, 11.5 ppg, 6.4 apg
Tyrese Maxey, Freshman, Guard, 14.0 ppg, 3.2 apg, 4.3 rpg
EJ Montgomery, Sophomore, Forward, 6.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.1 bpg
Nick Richards, Junior, Forward, 14.0 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.1 bpg
Key Role Players:
Keion Brooks, Freshman, Forward, 4.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg
Nate Sestina, Senior, Forward, 5.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 74.4 (91st in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.1 (81, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.1 (52, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.4 (20, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.1 (337, 14)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.3 (124, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 79.7 (2, 1)
Rebound Margin: 4.2 (58, 4)
Assists Per Game: 13.4 (153, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.5 (111, 3)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2019NCAARound of 64 win over Abilene Christian
2019NCAARound of 32 win over Wofford
2019NCAARegional Semifinal win over Houston
2019NCAARegional Final loss to Auburn
2018NCAARound of 64 win over Davidson
2018NCAARound of 32 win over Buffalo
2018NCAARegional Semifinal loss to Kansas State
2017NCAARound of 64 win over Northern Kentucky
2017NCAARound of 32 win over Wichita State
2017NCAARegional Semifinal win over UCLA
2017NCAARegional Final loss to North Carolina
2016NCAARound of 64 win over Stony Brook
2016NCAARound of 32 loss to Indiana
2015NCAARound of 64 win over Hampton
2015NCAARound of 32 win over Cincinnati
2015NCAARegional Semifinal win over West Virginia
2015NCAARegional Final win over Notre Dame
2015NCAANational Semifinal win loss to Wisconsin
2014NCAARound of 64 win over Kansas State
2014NCAARound of 32 win over Wichita State
2014NCAARegional Semifinal win over Louisville
2014NCAARegional Final win over Michigan
2014NCAANational Semifinal win over Wisconsin
2014NCAANational Final loss to Connecticut
2013NITFirst Round loss to Robert Morris
2012NCAARound of 64 win over Western Kentucky
2012NCAARound of 32 win over Iowa State
2012NCAARegional Semifinal win over Indiana
2012NCAARegional Final win over Baylor
2012NCAANational Semifinal win over Louisville
2012NCAANational Final win over Kansas
2011NCAARound of 64 win over Princeton
2011NCAARound of 32 win over West Virginia
2011NCAARegional Semifinal win over Ohio State
2011NCAARegional Final win over North Carolina
2011NCAANational Semifinal loss to Connecticut
2010NCAARound of 64 win over East Tennessee State
2010NCAARound of 32 win over Wake Forest
2010NCAARegional Semifinal win over Cornell
2010NCAARegional Final loss to West Virginia
2009NITFirst Round win over UNLV
2009NITSecond Round win over Creighton
2009NITQuarterfinal loss to Notre Dame
2008NCAARound of 64 loss to Marquette
2007NCAARound of 64 win over Villanova
2007NCAARound of 32 loss to Kansas
*all team stats through 3/8