Towards the end of last season and into the beginning of this season, UK fans had mixed emotions about the race to 2,000 wins. While getting to 2,000 was going to be an historic milestone that Cat fans couldn’t wait to celebrate, there was a bit of fear that UNC and their recent success, combined with UK’s recent lackluster seasons, would lead to the hated Heels getting to the promised land first. UNC was also coming off of their 5th title, just 2 off of UK’s 7, so beating Kentucky to 2,000 just meant that UNC was that much closer to actually being able to put up a legit argument that THEY were in fact the greatest program of all time.
Fast forward to today and we all know that UK won the race easily. In fact, UK has extended their lead in total wins by 11 and UNC still hasn’t passed the 2k mark. There is also a legitimate question as to whether they will even be the 2nd team to get to 2,000 wins because Kansas is rapidly catching up to UNC and will most likely pass them before the seasons end.
Rush the Court takes a look at the remainder of the season for both teams and uses Ken Pomeroy’s predictions to give a glimpse into what the future might hold. Here’s a brief look at each team and what they’ll have to do to get to 2,000:
Current Win Total: 1996
Remaining Schedule (KenPom’s Prediction): vs Oklahoma (W), @ Oklahoma State (W), vs Kansas State (W), @ Missouri (W)
Predicted Date to Reach 2k: Saturday, March 6th @ Missouri
Current Win Total: 1998
Remaining Schedule (KenPom’s Prediction): @ Boston College (L), vs Florida State (L), @ Wake Forest (L), vs Miami (W), @ Duke (L)
Predicted Date to Reach 2k: ACC Tournament or Next Season
I found it very interesting that Ken Pomeroy’s system actually predicts Kansas’ toughest game to be at Missouri instead of their home game against Kansas State. The system puts that Missouri game at a 67% chance that Kansas will win. All the other games on Kansas’ schedule are predicted as W’s and all have a higher than 80% chance that they will win the game. If they play out as predicted, the Jayhawks will get to 2k in their season finale at Missouri. If not, they are probably considered to be big time favorites to win the Big 12 tournament which would put their win total past 2,000 even if they dropped one or two games on their remaining schedule.
North Carolina, on the other hand, is predicted to lose all of their remaining games except for their home bout with Miami, which still only carries a 63% chance for victory. According to KenPom, they have a 5% chance to beat Duke, 21% chance to beat Wake, 37% chance to beat BC and a 41% chance to beat Florida State. Provided that they play out as predicted, Carolina will finish the regular season with 1,999 wins and have to win one game in the ACC tournament, where they are sure to play one of the higher seeds, or they’ll be forced to wait until next year to pass the 2k mark. Who’da thunk that when the season began?!
Now my question for you is this: As a UK fan, who would you rather see take the second place finish in the race to 2k and why?