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When Nine is Greater Than Forty



When we first heard news of Kentucky’s unprecedented recruiting class coming in next year, once we finished scraping our jaws off the floor and booking tickets to the Final Four, the next order of business was asking ourselves: could Kentucky conceivably go undefeated next year, becoming the first college basketball team in nearly forty years to do so?


It’s a fun daydream. Having that “0” in the loss column all season long, knowing that even on your off nights teams couldn’t beat you, and knowing without a doubt that you are THE BEST team in college basketball- who wouldn’t want to aim for that? Well, while the McDonald’s All-Americans acknowledged the pleasant idea at media day yesterday, they were also quick to point out that a national championship is the goal next season, first and foremost.


“40-0 is not a goal,” said Aaron Harrison. “Just to win our last game.” Similarly, Julius Randle brushed past the undefeated season, saying it was more of a symptom of BBN’s “crazy fan talk,” saying that he didn’t feel pressure to live up to that particular expectation.


So should fans back off the idea? Well, maybe on the outside. Next year’s Final Four weekend is still a year away, and our incoming guys are focused enough on the title that pushing an undefeated season on them seems like more of a distraction than a means to an end. Privately, sure, think whatever you want. Draft tweets to Tom Crean and Indiana snarkily bragging about Kentucky’s new place atop the undefeated record books (“We’ve been thinking about this a lot. A whole lot.” Paint watercolors of “40-0” surrounded by images of next year’s team. But don’t expect Cal and his team to do the same. Coach has always been a one game at a time kind of guy, focusing on the overall title and the upcoming opponent rather than streaks and records- and that’s what got him #8, right?


40-0 would be cool, no doubt. But winning the last game of the season is the most important goal, and next year’s team already has the focus to do so.

Article written by Kristen Geil

31 Comments for When Nine is Greater Than Forty

  1. UKeducation
    5:32 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    ‘Having that 0 in the wins column….’ Does no one on this site know how to read/edit?

  2. wkcatsfan
    5:33 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    “0” in the wins column? Small typo there, but I’ve enjoyed your articles from the McDonald’s AA activities this week!

  3. CardinalsSuck
    5:34 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Unos dos tres quatro cinco cinco seis!!!

  4. BigBlue
    5:34 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Everyone should chill on the 40-0 thing.

  5. That's What She Said...
    5:35 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Unless the comments about going 40-0 are accompanied with the label of being absurd, talking about being 40-0 is absurd at this point. It will cease being absurd when and if we are about 32-0.

  6. Maxbps8
    5:37 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    You know, the ONLY reason I give two-hoots about going 40-0? Is the thought that for the REST of our collective lives we get to think of just how pissed off Bobby Knight will be knowing that KentuckY topped his team! Yet Again!

  7. shields eyes
    5:39 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Minnesota hired Richard Pitino? Really?

  8. westkyukfan
    5:42 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Must be a slow day for news. You guys have repeated the same McD’s quotes and stories over and over for the past 2 days.

  9. Smart person
    5:44 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    40-0 was started by cal, you can not blame the fans.

  10. CalStartedIt
    5:49 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    I agree that 40-0 is ridiculous to think about right now, but after winning the NC last year, Cal explicitly said that he (1) wants to go undefeated; and (2) wants to pass UCLA in titles. In 2010, he went 35-3; in 2012, he went 38-2. We could have lost any number of games either season, but that does not mean 40-0 is not within reach.

  11. Maxbps8
    5:49 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    hey #7…I was laughing at the same thing. And will be everytime I think of it for the rest of the year. Fired Tubby after their best ‘legal’ season EVER…to hire…someone that has not coached ever! Minnesota has just made themselves the laughingstock of the basketball world. What hypocrites.

  12. Deepblue
    5:51 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    I agree but Cal was really the one that started this 40-0 talk in the first place. He’s been talking about it for two years now.

  13. El Pollo Loco
    5:52 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    9 – 40-0 as a possibility was started by Cal, but it was then taken as a goal for next season by fans.

    I actually hope they lose 1 or 2 games like last season, so it takes the pressure off for the undefeated season, but also so they can be motivated by the taste of defeat and not get lackadaisical.

  14. kycatman
    5:53 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Good to see that you replaced the “0” in the win column with a “0” in the loss. Imagine that!!!

  15. John Ellis
    5:56 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Let’s remember that Issel never got to the Final Four. Nor did John Wall and Cousins. They could have an incredible year and then one bonehead game. Can we enjoy the season as it happens?

  16. Thank you
    5:57 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    #9 is exactly right cal said that was his next challenge for himself.

  17. ransmith
    5:59 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    40-0 record is a foolish goal!

    If you had a team that say lost 1 or 2 games and everyone was returning, it would still be a major stretch goal. To have a team where many of the key players have never played a single college game, it is just a foolish thought.

  18. cm34
    6:02 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Way to take the joy out the season before it even starts by setting such a goal for a bunch of guys who have never played a college game. How about setting goals of working insaely hard, caring for each other and not caring who gets credit or shots – and then enjoying the result? They will be fine and if the team does something incredibly improbable along the way then great. In the meantime – what 15 said.

  19. CatLibrarian
    6:02 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Let’s talk about 40-0 when they’re 40 and 0. Not before. The thing that I am most worried about is that there is going to be a lot of pressure on the guys next year already. So, lets not throw another log onto that fire.

  20. Yep
    6:15 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Cal said his goal was to go 40-0 because he said “they say it can’t be done”. I have never once heard him say anything about a particular team going 40-0.

    As far As Tubby getting fired at Minnesota. I believe if you pay a coach as much as they were paying him then you can expect him to produce a higher finish in conference play than 6th. Minnesota fans are saying the same thing UK fans were a few years ago. Tubby can’t recruit. Tubby is getting us 20 wins a year but nothing more. Tubby has gotten lazy. The only reason I don’t agree with his firing him is because they have to buy out his contract. If you are going to pay him anyway then you might as well let him finish his contract. Of course when he quit and left UK, Uk gave his his longevity bonus even though he left before he met the required tome for the bonus.

  21. Logic
    6:17 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    “40-0 is not a goal,” said Aaron Harrison. “Just to win our last game.” You do realize you could lose every game before that, win the last one, and be fine according to your logic, Aaron?

  22. kramer
    6:18 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    #19 I agree, this year is a prime example of a team with a lot of hype, not being ready and too high expectations. I just want them to all play as a team, whatever happens, will happen.

  23. Listen up
    6:21 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Some team wins the title every year. Hell we got 8 of them. If we go 40-0, it will NEVER be duplicated. So yeah. I want to go 40-0.

  24. C-A-T-S
    6:27 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    I hope they go undefeated, but I don’t care as long as the play with heart and represent UK to the fullest (and they will). Winning the championship is a high probability with these boys. And I hope they enjoy every step of the way, cause BBN is behind them all the way!!! So pumped for next season. Go Big Blue!!!!!

  25. C-A-T-S
    6:31 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    #21 are you serious?? Get real. They will make the tournament and he’s saying as long as they win the championship. U really can’t be that stupid to think he meant it any other way. C’mon man!!!!! Some of y’all will pick any negative aspect about what a player or coach says or how they walk. What the hell is wrong with y’all. Be excited. A class like this will never be duplicated again (unless Cal does it again). No other coach has a chance of duplicating this class.

  26. CPACAT
    6:47 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    #21) Your logic is not sound when coupled with the realities of college basketball. The only way you could “lose every game before that, (and) win the last one” would be if you were not participating in a conference tournament. Only one type of team can lose all their games and win the last one. A team that doesn’t have a conference tournament (i.e. could lose all year and win the last game, their season then would end.) The SEC has and Kentucky is eligible to participate in a conference tournament.

    You could, however, go something like 0-25, then win your conference tournament and the NCAA tournament and be 10-25 and NCAA champs.

  27. jim
    7:35 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Yes – everyone needs to chill on 40-0. it needs to stop being featured in posts here for starters

  28. Lakesidecatsfan
    7:36 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    As long as we finish 6-0 with #9 in hand, it doesn’t really matter what the numbers are from 1-34!

  29. Biff Switters
    8:05 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    We should all keep in mind that 40-0 and a Nat’l Championship are both synonymous with March and a destination, but if all of BBN focuses on the journey instead then think of the in between time…between Midnight Madness (Big Blue if you want to get technical) and the championship game on a monday night in April. I salivate thinking of #9 as well but if and when that happens it’ll presuppose some of the best basketball that many of us will have ever seen…and as a Nation we’ve seen some pretty good basketball. GO CATS!!!!!

    Pigskin CATS as well!!!!

  30. Lisa
    8:30 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    So, Richard Pitino to Minnesota. Seeing an incestous pattern here revolving around Kentucky. Pitino-Kentucky, Louisville, Tubby-Kentucky, Minnesota, Texas Tech, BCG-Kentucky, TexasTech. See the world does revolve around Kentucky basketball.

  31. mudcreekmark
    8:33 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    When Cal went on the record of wanting to go undefeated he had one thing on his mind, this years recruiting class. He knew how loaded this class was and that was going to be his sales pitch to bring them all together. Cal doesn’t just blurt something like that out for no reason. He is the master of the mind.