Vote: Could Kentucky beat NBA's Wizards?

Anthony Davis of the Kentucky Wildcats, left, and John Wall of the Washington Wizards.
Getty Images
Anthony Davis and John Wall
Anthony Davis of the Kentucky Wildcats, left, and John Wall of the Washington Wizards.
Getty Images

(CBS News) The Kentucky Wildcats have pretty much dominated the competition this year and are the odds-on favorite to cut down the nets in New Orleans Monday night.

The team is loaded with future NBA talent (Anthony Davis will likely be the No. 1 draft pick. But could the Wildcats beat an NBA team, like say, the lowly Washington Wizards?

Former Maryland Terrapins coach Gary Williams says yes but current Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy says no way.

The topic came up Tuesday afternoon on D.C. radio when ESPN 980's Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro asked Williams if he thought the Wildcats could top the Wiz in one game held at Kentucky's Rupp Arena. (The hypothetical scenario also had the Wizards playing for the third time in three nights).

"I'll tell you, you walk into some gyms -- and that would be one of them, Rupp Arena -- and you better be tough," Williams said. "Regardless of how good you are, you can get taken right out of the game with the crowd. You just don't feel right, you can't play your game.

"I think one game -- Kentucky couldn't play in the NBA or anything like that -- but one game at Rupp Arena, I wouldn't be surprised to see Kentucky win one game. Because you're gonna have five players off that team playing in the NBA, and probably playing significant roles in the NBA. And that's why I say that, for one game."

Van Gundy dismissed the notion.

"Look, it's absurd," he said before the Magic faced the New York Knicks. "I mean, people will say, `Oh, Kentucky you know's got four NBA players.' Yeah, well the other team's got 13."

Van Gundy said the talent level, experience and age of the players would favor the NBA team, even one as bad as the Wizards (11-38).

"Could anything happen on a one-night thing? I mean, I suppose, you have major upsets all the time. So maybe, but it'd be rare and in a series it'd be a joke," Van Gundy said. "It wouldn't be close. That's just the way it is. John Calipari's got a lot of talent, he does not have 13 NBA players. He just doesn't. And even if those guys all are, they're all NBA rookies. I mean, when has that ever been a success in the NBA? So no, they're not going to win."

Ironically, the Wizards' best player is 21-year-old point guard John Wall - a No. 1 draft pick out of Kentucky.

  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith is a senior editor for