Commentary

Burning questions facing the SEC

Will Kentucky make it back to the Final Four? Which team will surprise?

Updated: November 2, 2011, 12:38 PM ET
By John Gasaway | Special to ESPN Insider
Terrence JonesNick Laham/Getty ImagesTerrence Jones and Kentucky are poised to have a strong 2011-12 season.

Editor's note: For the next several weeks, the college basketball experts of ESPN Insider will examine the key questions facing some of the nation's top conferences as we prepare for the 2011-12 season. Today, John Gasaway takes a look at the SEC.

1. Where can the Kentucky Wildcats improve from last season, and will they?
Last year, everyone kept fretting about the Wildcats because coach John Calipari's team was losing all those close games on the road. But the actual difference in performance between that team (10-6 in the SEC, outscoring conference opponents by 0.12 points per possession) and the one led by John Wall that stormed through the league in 2010 (14-2 SEC, outscoring league foes by 0.14 points per trip) was much smaller than people thought. So it was no surprise to me when UK made it all the way to Houston -- in fact, that was the Final Four only pick I got right. (No, I didn't have Connecticut, Butler or VCU. Hey, it was a weird year.)