Before each Kentucky home game, the PA announcer says, “Welcome to Rupp Arena, home of the greatest tradition in college basketball!” Well, that’s not home-cooked hyperbole.
Ahead of the Sweet 16, ESPN’s Tony Moss ranked each remaining team based purely off tradition. The same man who ranked John Calipari as the 41st-best coach as a player, I don’t think Cal will have a problem where the Cats rank on this list. Michigan State is fourth, Duke is third, North Carolina is second and the Kentucky Wildcats are ranked No. 1.
This has not been one of Kentucky’s consistently dominant teams, nor are the Wildcats healthy right now — PJ Washington is a major question mark to appear in this tournament. None of that will diminish expectations for a program that annually sets the bar at “national title.” If UK fails to reach the Final Four, the drought will reach four years for a program that previously made four appearances in five seasons from 2010-11 to 2014-15.
Kentucky basketball, still the greatest tradition in the sport. Disagree? Say it to Anthony Davis’ face. I dare you.