Kentucky Wildcats May Have Saved Season with Win against Ole Miss Rebels

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 16 ranked Ole Miss Rebels were defeated by the non-ranked Kentucky Wildcats Tuesday night.

It sounds like a made-up line, especially after the past few years where Kentucky has been the dominant force in the SEC, while the Rebels skirted the edges of the NCAA tournament. Ole Miss was a favorite in this game, only to be outplayed by Kentucky. This win is huge for the Wildcats, because as Kentucky lost more games, their NCAA chances were slowly dwindling away.

Kyle Wiltjer went off for 26 points. This kind of performance is exactly what Kentucky needs to succeed during the remainder of the season. If Wiltjer is a threat, the other Kentucky players have a much larger opportunity to play their game.

Nerlens Noel was not a threat offensively, but defensively he showed why he has been the most anticipated player of the 2012-2013 season. He is a better all-around player than Anthony Davis was a season ago and can lead Kentucky back to the national title if the rest of the team can get on track.

Kentucky only continues to improve, especially the point guard play of Ryan Harrow. When Harrow plays well, Kentucky plays better. If Harrow can start having success on offense, this team becomes one of the most dangerous in the SEC.

The Wildcats are young, but look like a team that, like UConn two years ago, could go much farther than expected in the NCAA tournament. Do not count Kentucky out yet, because John Calipari will not take being considered an underdog lightly.

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