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Race to 2000: Who Cares?

raceWasn’t the “basketball race” I had in mind

Barring complete meltdowns, UK will finally arrive at their 2000th win this coming Monday against the Drexel Dragons.  I’m sure it will be a cause for joy in Rupp that evening and “My Old Kentucky Home” will be bellowed with great fervor.  But my question is this- who cares?  If you think about it, 2000 is just an artibtrary number.  No more special that win 2002 or 2167.  And it’s not like we’ll get to enjoy the luster for long, as North Carolina and Kansas will both be joining us in the 2000-win club later this season.

I really couldn’t care less about the 2000th win.  My biggest concern is maintaining the lead.  Do you realize that as late as 2005 UK had an almost a 50 game lead on UNC?  When you couple a lackluster final two years of Tubby, the general suck-fest that was Billy Gillispie’s tenure at UK and the dominance UNC has had over college hoops the past 5 years, that lead was reduced by almost 40 by the beginning this current season. 

So I don’t care about 2000 wins because when UNC and Kansas both get there, the race is on to 2500, 3000 (a win I predict comes in March of 2048) and so on.   As long as college basketball exists there will be these arbitrary races to “milestone” wins that, in the big scheme of things, don’t matter a whole lot.  What does matter, however, is making sure that UK remains the winningest program in all of college basketball.  Obviously, we would have lost the lead (perhaps forever) if Gillispie would have stayed.  I think the pieces are in place to not only keep the lead, but extend it.  But you have to admit it was kind of cute when UNC thought they might overtake us, wasn’t it?

The only problem in all this is that you can’t, no matter what you do, listen to Coach Cal.  To hear him tell it, we’re only on win 1,993.

Article written by Patrick Barker