The Kentucky Wildcats were favorites to reach the Final Four before this season even started. With the No.1 ranking and the deepest team in the country and eight highly touted freshman (including six All-Americans), this team has the chance to make history again, but there are a couple of teams in their way and one of them is the No. 2 Michigan State. The Spartans are a very experienced team with a future Hall of Fame coach in Tom Izzo. Both teams meet tomorrow in the Champions Classic on ESPN and Julius Randle thinks that this game can define how good they can be.
From Vaught’s Views :
“I know they are a tough, physical, hard team,” Randle said after Sunday’s win. “It’s going to be a big step up. I think as a team we are getting better, but Tuesday is going to be a war. We are willing to fight. Coach doesn’t think we are ready, but he’s just trying to challenge us.”
Coach John Calipari already thinks that his young team facing off against Michigan State Early in the season is unfair.
This is not like you’re going to steal, sneak by. You’re going to have to ball,” Calipari said. “For us, it’s a bar of where we are right now. We’ve got a long way to go.”
Anyway you look at it, tomorrow’s matchup between Kentucky and Michigan State is one made for March. Both teams are at the top of the national polls and they will be facing each other for the first time since 2008. Whoever wins will get something out of this. It looks like Kentucky has the right mindset going into this game. Randle is putting up huge numbers, but he also understands that those were against cupcake teams.
John Calipari is honest about his team, but at the same time is not backing down from the challenge. If Michigan State wins then it will prove to the rest of the country including the doubters that they mean business. As for Kentucky, if they win then they will prove that they can hang with the more experienced teams and surprise many naysayers. If they lose, it will be nothing but a learning experience for the young Wildcats and it will let them know where they stand as a team.