This always comes up eventually, when March Madness is all the way upon us and it's hard to remember that there's a professional basketball league—2012 Final Four watchers, impressed by the prohibitive-favorite Kentucky Wildcats, are wondering aloud if they could beat a terrible NBA team under NCAA Tournament rules. So much for the Louisville Cardinals, right? The answer, according to bookmakers: Probably not.
Kentucky vs Wizards (NBA rules, neutral court) - bookmaker @AndrewsSports would open Washington as a 30-point favorite.— RJ Bell (@RJinVegas) March 29, 2012
The Washington Wizards, in case you've forgotten, are 12-39. So yes: Anthony Davis is an outstanding player having an outstanding season. But Kentucky alum and Wiz guard John Wall is a great cautionary tale here. In one year with the Wildcats, in 2009-10, Wall had a PER of 22.3; it fell to 15.8 in a full season of NBA play. DeMarcus Cousins, as big forwards often do, dominated the college PER rankings, with a 34.2; in his first year with the Sacramento Kings it was down to 14.6, before jumping back up this season.
That's not even taking into account all the players on the Kentucky roster who won't get near an NBDL court. The Wildcats have some players who could possibly turn into great NBA players. The Wizards, as bad as they are, have a bunch of great college players who've already turned into NBA players. There's a big difference.
Elsewhere on SB Nation St. Louis: Enjoy a complete 2012 Final Four schedule, with TV broadcast times and stations and a last-second printable bracket.