NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — SMU head coach Larry Brown knows a thing or two about basketball at both the professional and collegiate level.

The basketball Hall of Famer has seemingly coached everywhere. In the NBA, he coached the Nuggets, the Nets, the Spurs, the Clippers, the Pacers, the 76ers, the Pistons, the Knicks and the Bobcats.

In the NCAA, the 74-year-old has coached North Carolina, UCLA, Kansas and Southern Methodist.

So when Brown says that Kentucky is good enough not only to win — but to thrive — in the NBA, you can’t help but take notice.

Kentucky (34-0) is the favorite to win the NCAA Tournament, but Brown is convinced that John Calipari’s squad would make serious noise in the Association.

“I don’t want to put pressure on John,” Brown said at a press conference on Wednesday. “I feel real close to him. I’m so proud of what he’s done. I think they’d honestly make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference if they were in the NBA.”

Back in November, after UK defeated Georgetown College with authority, Coach Cal made it clear that his squad couldn’t hang with an NBA team.

The No. 1 Wildcats will take on No. 16 Hampton on Thursday night at 9:40 p.m. ET in the Round of 64.

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