For the first time in a number of years, Coach Cal and the UK program actually had some upperclassmen to lean on, in the form of juniors Willie Cauley-Stein and Alex Poythress along with sophomores Andrew and Aaron Harrison, all important luxury come NCAA Tournament time.
Although Poythress went down mid-season to a unfortunate knee injury, the Cats kept rolling, blasting through an over matched SEC Conference, finishing with an impeccable 34-0 mark entering March Madness.
As the 40-0 commemorative t-shirts began to surface courtside, Kentucky still strives for immortality as they are hell bent on becoming the first NCAA Division I team to finish a season undefeated since Bob Knight’s famed Indiana Hoosiers team of the mid 1970’s.
After a rough and tough, chippy and physical first half Saturday, the Wildcats outlasted the upstart Cincinnati Bearcats 64-51, to advance to the Sweet 16 next weekend. In the process, they have already made history, becoming the first D1 team to begin a season 36-0.
“Two down and four to go” has to be the motto, as the Cats now need only 4 more victories to finish 40-0, and become one of those legendary, all time squads that we remember forever in the annals of college basketball history.
Allen Moll has been a lifelong NBA and NCAA College Basketball fan who watches and studies games religiously, and coaches youth basketball in his native Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. Allen has also provided content to Bleacherreport.com, Upperdeckblog.com, Cleveland.com, CSN Philly.com, Buckets Magazine, Balltribe.com, in addition to being a tenured NBA and NCAA columnist for TheHoopDoctors.com.