I always like it when the old-school basketball wisdom and the new-school analytics are in perfect synchronicity.
Stan Van Gundy scoffs at the notion the Kentucky Wildcats could beat an NBA team, saying: "I mean, people will say, 'Oh, Kentucky, you know's, got four NBA players.' Yeah, well, the other team's got 13."
And now here's Kevin Pelton, on Basketball Prospectus, using a sophisticated tool he invented to project the performance of college players in the NBA:
Would this team win a game? Using Pythagorean expectations, yes. Over the 66-game season, we’d expect them to win 1.6 games -- though surely there would be times NBA Kentucky would go 0-66. Most likely, a win would come at the hands of the lowly Charlotte Bobcats. Based on the Wildcats’ projected .024 Pythagorean winning percentage and the Bobcats’ actual .124 Pythagorean mark, the log5 method says Kentucky would win about one out of seven games head-to-head. Against Toronto, that same expectation is one in 23 games. And against Chicago, it’s one in 143, which makes it more lopsided than a 1-16 tournament matchup.
So the Wildcats could beat an NBA team, but it’s not especially likely.