How this UK team stacks up

John Calipari's team will feature several new faces in 2012-13. AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

Defending a national championship is hard. The Florida Gators did so quite successfully in 2007, of course, winning a second consecutive national title. But let's not forget that the ensuing group of Gators also had to defend a title, and that 2007-08 team went to the NIT. The same destination awaited the North Carolina Tar Heels in 2010 one year after winning it all.

In fact, since Florida cut down the nets in 2007, no team defending a national title has made it past the Sweet 16. Call it the curse of the defending champions.

Which brings me to the Kentucky Wildcats in 2012-13. Can the Wildcats break this curse? Absolutely, but let's not minimize the obstacles they'll face.