Just something to throw up here. I know many think UK has fallen from grace, and that is fine. But what does it mean to truly have fallen apart as a program? Well one such indicator (among many) is not making the tournament. Here are the most consecutive NCAA appearances:
22 – Arizona (since 1985)
17 – Kansas (since 1990)
15 – Kentucky (since 1992)
11 – Duke (since 1996)
9 – Michigan St. (since 1998)
8 – Florida (since 1999)
8 – Gonzaga (since 1999)
8 – Texas (since 1999)
8 – Wisconsin (since 1999)
7 – Illinois (since 2000)
Now, first on that list is Arizona….who may be a bubble team this year. Second is Kansas, who will make the tournament (but is coming off two straight first round losses). Third are the Cats.
But what about the Pitino years? OK take them out….start with 98. Kentucky would only be fourth, behind DUke…..who MAY NOT make the tournament this year. They would be tied with Michigan State who is now FIRMLY on the bubble. Lets say all those bubble teams dont make it (just for argument). Then the list looks like this:
Florida (who has the odd history of two title games….and five times out in the 1st or 2nd round)
I already know the counter about Final 4 appearances, and that is significant, no doubt. But all programs go through lulls, and what we have seen is that EVERY MAJOR PROGRAM IN AMERICA has gone through a worse year during Tubby’s tenure than Kentucky (as Kansas has two consecutive first round losses). The only exception may be Duke….unless Duke doesnt make the tournament.
Think about that for a second…..not one program in America has had their “worst” year better than Kentucky’s. While the highs maybe havent been as high as some (including me) would like (besides the championship), the lows are NOWHERE NEAR as low as every program besides us, have experienced.