Would Kentucky really beat a bad NBA team?

There’s been speculation, as there is at this time every year, of whether or not the best college basketball team could beat the worst team in the NBA. This year, it’s been fueled by Charles Barkley saying that Kentucky would beat the Toronto Raptors and possibly the Charlotte Bobcats. It may seem ridiculous to NBA fans but on the other side there’s college basketball fans that think Kentucky could pull it off.

For starters, I’m not sure why Chuck picked Toronto. There’s four teams in the NBA that have worse records than them. For some reason he called Kentucky unbeatable even though they have losses to Indiana and Vanderbilt this season. But for Chuck’s sake, we’ll use the Raptors and Bobcats as comparison points for this NBA vs. College hypothetical matchup.

The game changer for Kentucky is obviously Anthony Davis. As the consensus #1 pick in this years NBA draft, he’s going to be a good NBA player. The Raptors do also have a former #1 pick playing for them too in Andrea Bargnani. Bargnani never played college basketball, but the Italian was also the consensus #1 pick when he came out in the draft.

Kentucky would have it’s starting five of Anthony Davis, Marquis Teague, Michael Kidd-Gilcrist, Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb. Toronto would most likely bring out a starting five of Aaron Gray, Andrea Bargnani, Linas Kleiza, Jose Calderon and DeMar DeRozan. After comparing those two, the college basketball fan is probably reassured that Kentucky would win. And yes, it is impressive until you remember the big difference between the college and NBA games.

Like I said earlier Bargnani was a 1st overall pick. The Raptors also start two other players who didn’t play college ball, Linas Kleiza and Jose Calderon. Even though it is impossible to compare the college stats because none of those three played in college, Kleiza was a the 27th overall pick in the 2005 draft by the Portland Trail Blazers. DeMar Derozan did play college ball, and like the guys on Kentucky he was well thought of. Out of USC, DeRozan was drafted 9th overall in 2009 by the Raptors but hasn’t played up to it yet.

Sure Kentucky may seem that it can match up with the Raptors in their starting lineup but the Raptors have the size advantage on all of Kentucky and the only one that may be able to match up with them is Anthony Davis. The other huge problem that makes this scenario so unlikely is the matchup of the benches. The best quote that has come out of this debate is what Jeff Van Gundy said earlier this week. He said that “Kentucky may have 3 NBA players, but Toronto has 13”. It’s such a true statement that people seem to over look. All of the guys on Toronto were highly thought of at one time like the guys at Kentucky are now.

It’s a fun debate to have and who knows, maybe Kentucky could squeak out a win if they were to play in a 7 game series. Is Kentucky the better team and would I take them in one game though? No, so for now let’s lay to rest the best college team vs. worst NBA team debate.

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One Response to Would Kentucky really beat a bad NBA team?

  1. Interesting concept but no, it’s not happening. No way any college team today would beat the Rators or any other team for that matter.

    Nice Post!

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