Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe said last week that his alma mater, Kentucky, could "definitely" beat the Philadelphia 76ers, and much of the basketball-viewing world as well as our friends at the FiveThirtyEight blog have weighed in on the subject. For some greater perspective, we put the question of whether college basketball's presumed best team could beat the NBA's unquestioned worst team to ESPN college basketball insiders Jay Bilas and Jeff Goodman.
Jay Bilas: It's amazing. Kentucky has nine McDonald's All-Americans, at least eight legitimate NBA draft prospects, and when the Wildcats play well, the immediate question is whether they can beat an NBA team. Of course, when Kentucky plays poorly or loses a game, which is likely to happen, there will be an immediate about-face and the question will be whether Kentucky can win championships with "one-and-done" players (a question that has already been answered in the affirmative, but that won't stop us), whether the platoon system can work and keep everybody happy, and whether the Wildcats have too much talent and can contend for a national title. Our pendulum swings wildly.
The question of whether Kentucky can beat an NBA team, as a general premise, is rather silly. It's almost as silly as asking whether a really good high school team can beat a major conference college team. The overwhelming majority of NBA teams would be favored by 20 points over Kentucky, and the Wildcats could win only if the NBA team mailed it in. But whether Kentucky could beat the Philadelphia 76ers -- one of the worst and least talented teams in NBA history -- is a totally different question.