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The Wildcats avenged their loss at Florida with a big win in Rupp Arena and took over first place in the SEC. Malik Monk led the Wildcats with 33 points and Bam Adebayo had his 5th double-double of the season.
Back in the 2003 season, Kentucky was in the middle of a 26 game winning streak as it made it’s way eventually to #1. This game made the nation take notice that we were for real. The 2003 team remains one of the funnest to have ever taken the court in Lexington and it’s defense was one of the best in history. We were perhaps a Keith Bogans ankle injury to yet another title. No other program has what we have, and no other program has as many “almost” seasons. Watch the Cats dominate a really good Florida team.
Let’s look at some historical numbers and how they apply to the big dance in March.
There have been 78 NCAA title winners since 1939 (no matter what North Carolina tells you with their Helms Trophy banners hanging in the rafter, or Kansas for that matter) and only 10 teams have 49 of those 78 National Titles. Over half. 10 teams have 49 of the available 78 titles, leaving just 37 that weren’t won by this exclusive group. If you add Oklahoma A&M(2), San Francisco(2), Cincinnati(2), and NC State(2) that leaves 56 of the 78 teams.
If you add teams that have little to no chance of repeating the number is shrunk to 65 of the 78 titles. The teams we can remove are: CCNY, LaSalle, Holy Cross, Utah, Wyoming, Stanford, Loyola Illinois(they gave is all a ride this year), Marquette, California, and UTEP
Now we have a remaining 4 teams that could repeat for the FIRST time.
Michigan, Arizona, Arkansas, Syracuse.
Of these teams in 2017-2018, Only Arizona and Michigan seriously have a chance at winning it all.
Arizona and Arkansas have been eliminated. Syracuse eliminated Michigan remains.
For fun, Let’s look at National Titles by Conferences:
Pac-12 – 15
ACC – 15
SEC – 11
Big Ten – 10
Big East – 8
Independents – 6
Missouri Valley Conference – 4
Big 8 – 2
Metro – 2
West Coach Conference – 2
Big 12 – 1
Big West – 1
New York Conference – 1
Mountain States Conference – 1
American Conference – 1
Now let’s look at the breakdown of the exclusive 10 teams that have 49 of the 78 titles and where they are moving into March Madness.
UCLA has a total of 11 titles
1964, 65, 67-73, 1975, 95
UCLA(21-11) is an 11 seed in the east playing St. Bonn. in the play-in game. The winner gets Florida and then potentially Arkansas or Purdue.
Kentucky has 8 National Titles
1948, 49, 51, 58, 78, 96, 98, 2012
UK is 24-10 after winning the SEC tourney. The Cats are the 5 seed in the south playing Davidson in Idaho(the south?). A potential second game against the Arizona Wildcats and the #1 player in the draft looms large for our young Cats. If we were to win that game a potential match up against the overall #1 seed, Virginia, awaits. Winning the SEC tourney gets you the top 4 seed and the top 1 seed. Thanks NCAA.
North Carolina has 6 National Titles in 1957, 82, 93, 05, 2009 and 2018.
North Carolina is 25-10 and is the media darlings thus getting them a 2 seed in the West playing their first two games in North Carolina(the west?). If they get past Lipscomb, they get a match up with Texas A&M and then a game against Michigan could await the Tar Heels.
North Carolina: OUT
Indiana has won 5 National Titles in 1940, 53, 76, 81, and 1987.
Indiana is OUT of the NCAA tournament following another terrible season.
Let’s all enjoy their “One Shining Moment” from just a few seasons ago when they were the #1 seed overall and failed to reach the elite 8. They have NEVER advanced past the Sweet 16 with Tom Crean.
Duke has won 5 National Titles in 1991, 92(I still hate Laettner), 2001, 2010, 2015
Duke is 26-7. Duke is the 2 seed in the Midwest. Duke could play either Oklahoma or Rhode Island in their second game with a potential re-match with Michigan State the following game. Duke, Michigan State and Kansas all sit in this bracket with a chance of only one of these teams advancing to the Final Four.
UCONN has 4 National Titles in 1999, 2004, 2011 and 2014
UCONN failed to make the NCAA tournament after an abysmal season.
Kansas has won 3 National Titles.
1952, 88, 2008
Kansas finished the season 27-7 winning both the Big 12 regular season title and the conference tourney title. Because, Kansas. They are the #1 seed in the Midwest. One of the greatest traditions of March Madness is watching Kansas each year lose early to a team you haven’t heard of. They play Penn in the first game. Then a match up between either NC State or Seton Hall awaits them next. That game could be interesting. The bottom part of their bracket has New Mexico State, Auburn and Clemson.
Louisville has 3 National Titles.
1980, 86, and *2013(VACATED)
Louisville failed to make the tournament and will play in the NIT after 1st year coach David Padgett coached Rick Pitino’s players. Let’s all remember their “One Shining Moment” from 2 season ago season.
Michigan State has 2 National Titles.
1979 and 2000
Michigan State is 29-4 and is the 3 seed in the midwest. First round game has them playing Bucknell with a second round game against TCU, Syracuse or Arizona State. This is a tough part of a bracket for a Spartan team that has the pieces to make a deep run.
Michigan State: OUT
Villanova is 3-4 and is the #1 seed in the east. A second game has them playing either Virginia Tech or Alabama. That could be a tough match up for Villanova no matter who they get. The bottom part of their bracket includes Wichita State and the crazy wife, Murray State and West Virginia. Purdue in the #2 seed in this region.
Florida has won 2 National Titles with Billy Donovon. Their new coach is this Mike White.He has done a good job at Florida so far, but, might be removed from this list in a few years moving them into the “San Fransisco” level of teams with 2 titles.
Florida is 20-12 and is the 6 seed in the East. Florida can beat anyone in the country if they shoot the ball well.
So, of the 10 teams with 49 of the 78 titles that are recently in the mix to get another one and 8 remain.
UCLA, UK, UNC, Duke, Kansas, Michigan State, Florida and Villanova : IN the tourney with only Villanova remaining
Since 2003 only Syracuse has won outside of this exclusive group.
2015 Duke (35-4) Mike Krzyzewski 68-63 Wisconsin Indianapolis, Ind.
2014 Connecticut (32-8) Kevin Ollie 60-54 Kentucky Arlington, Texas
*2013 Louisville (35-5) Rick Pitino 82-76 Michigan Atlanta, Ga. (VACATED)
2012 Kentucky (38-2) John Calipari 67-59 Kansas New Orleans, La.
2011 Connecticut (32-9) Jim Calhoun 53-41 Butler Houston, Texas
2010 Duke (35-5) Mike Krzyzewski 61-59 Butler Indianapolis, Ind.
2009 North Carolina (34-4) Roy Williams 89-72 Michigan State Detroit, Mich.
2008 Kansas (37-3) Bill Self 75-68 (OT) Memphis San Antonio, Texas
2007 Florida (35-5) Billy Donovan 84-75 Ohio State Atlanta, Ga.
2006 Florida (33-6) Billy Donovan 73-57 UCLA Indianapolis, Ind.
2005 North Carolina (33-4) Roy Williams 75-70 Illinois St. Louis, Mo.
2004 Connecticut (33-6) Jim Calhoun 82-73 Georgia Tech San Antonio, Texas
History has a way of repeating itself, who is it going to be?
Game Highlights with Tom Leach on the call:
Post game presser with John Calipari: