Kentucky's March Madness concern

Updated: March 1, 2012, 3:43 PM ET
By Jay Bilas

Let's be blunt. The Kentucky Wildcats are the nation's best team. Period.

As you may have read elsewhere on ESPN.com on Thursday, the Wildcats lead rankings constructed by both man and machine and there shouldn't be much dispute. Kentucky was one last-second Christian Watford 3-pointer away from an undefeated season that likely would have generated a national mania. But even the best teams, those that look nearly infallible, can falter in the NCAA tournament.

Look at the 1974 UCLA Bruins or the 1985 Georgetown Hoyas. One bad day, or one phenomenal, charmed performance by an opponent, can undo some of the greatest teams in college basketball history. Heck, last season the Ohio State Buckeyes systematically dismantled the George Mason Patriots in the tournament's third round. OSU looked like the best team in the nation after that game, a contest in which it shot 61 percent from the field (61.5 percent from behind the arc) en route to a 32-point win. The next game, Ohio State ran into an underseeded Kentucky squad that sent it packing.

So why couldn't the same thing happen to the Kentucky Wildcats?