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Comparing the Blue Bloods in the Calipari Era


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I think one of the things that has slipped through the cracks in the aftermath of the national championship game is the question as to where to put UConn historically. They’ve got four national championships, five Final Fours, 11 Elite Eights, and 29 conference championships. All in all, that’s a pretty good resume. But are they as good as the traditional six? Well, I still say no. In order to be considered a blue blood in my eyes you have to have sustained excellence for at least twenty-five years. UConn didn’t make their first Final Four until 1999 so they’ve got a little ways yet to go before I include a benefactor of a couple of fluke runs.

With that said, we all understand that under Calipari, UK has become the “it” school in college basketball. But do they have the resume to back it up? Let’s take a look at the five years under Cal compared to the other “Blue Bloods” (plus, it’s always fun to mock Indiana who, by the way, should have their status as a Blue Blood reexamined at a later date).



Record: 152-37 (80.4%)

Postseason Record: 18-3 (85.7%)

Conference Titles: 2009, 2012

Conference Tournament Titles: 2010, 2011

Final Fours: 2011, 2012, 2014

National Championships: 2012



Record: 156-29 (84.3%)

Postseason Record: 12-5 (70.5%)

Conference Titles: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

Conference Tournament Titles: 2010, 2011, 2013

Final Fours: 2012

National Championships: None



Record: 150-32 (82.4%)

Postseason Record: 11-4 (73.3%)

Conference Titles: 2010

Conference Tournament Titles: 2010, 2011

Final Fours: 2010

National Championships: 2010


North Carolina:

Record: 130-52 (71.4%)

Postseason Record: 8-4 (66.7%)

Conference Titles: 2011, 2012

Conference Tournament Titles: None

Final Fours: None

National Championships: None



Record: 109-62 (63.7%)

Postseason Record: 3-3 (50%)

Conference Titles: 2013

Conference Tournament Titles: 2014

Final Fours: None

National Championships: None



Record: 95-72 (56.9%)

Postseason Record: 4-2 (66.7%)

Conference Titles: 2013

Conference Tournament Titles: None

Final Fours: None

National Championships: None


Based on these resumes, I think there are a bunch of obvious conclusions that can be drawn. First, as good as the other coaches have been during this time, none have been as good as Calipari in March. Not even the beloved Coach K. Second, Kansas absolutely dominates the Big 12. Ten straight regular season championships is stupid no matter what conference you’re in. And last, but certainly-not-least-unless-you-consider-Indiana-the-least-in-which-you-would-be-correct-because-Indiana-sucks, Tom Crean should be fired. That is just an awful resume he has acquired over there at Indiana, I mean 17-15 in year 5? C’mon Hoosiers, have some dignity.



Article written by Ben Ward

25 Comments for Comparing the Blue Bloods in the Calipari Era

  1. Allen Mann
    12:05 pm May 11, 2014 Permalink

    U should include Florida and Louisville on this.. maybe some others

  2. Capt. Obvious
    12:11 pm May 11, 2014 Permalink

    UNC was not in the 2012 Final Four

  3. Sober Dave
    12:13 pm May 11, 2014 Permalink

    Its Comparing the blue bloods, not the every now and thens….

  4. T25guy
    12:15 pm May 11, 2014 Permalink

    Uconn should be included over Fl. They should be our most hated rival these days.

  5. RR
    12:19 pm May 11, 2014 Permalink

    #2 is right, UNC has not made a final four in the ‘Calipari’ era.

  6. David Elswick
    12:25 pm May 11, 2014 Permalink

    The landscape has changed in the last 20 years to a point where it’s not as easy to compile the list of blue bloods.
    Obviously, UK, Duke, UNC, and Kansas are mainstays, but past that, I’m not sure.

    Since Izzo has been at Michigan State, they’ve visited the Final Four at a pretty regular clip. With some good tradition prior, I’d say they’re a blue blood.

    UConn is new money, but may have edged their way into the club; same with Florida.

    Louisville was falling out of the elite for a while, but have experienced a revival recently to keep their spot.

    Indiana should no longer be considered a blue blood. In the last 20 years they’ve been almost irrelevant. Put them in the boat with Cincinnati, St. John’s, and some others. They have enough tradition to be reinstated, but need to do something in the near future to avoid becoming DePaul.

  7. Chris Kaufman
    12:26 pm May 11, 2014 Permalink

    I’m a big UK fan, but would like to compare the Louisville stats

    • Hmmm...
      12:51 pm May 11, 2014 Permalink

      Starting any post or comment with “I’m a big UK fan, but” usually means you aren’t, really.

      It doesn’t need to be stated; I mean, you’re on a UK SITE.

    12:28 pm May 11, 2014 Permalink

    How is there any debate were the best. Use this on all trolls to shut them up

  9. Come On
    12:39 pm May 11, 2014 Permalink

    Im with #7, we have to include Louisville on this list. I think UCLA and Indiana are kind of straw man arguments in this case. It’s pretty clear that they aren’t what they used to be at all.

    • Hahaha!
      12:48 pm May 11, 2014 Permalink

      Winning a Championship every 27 years does not make a blue blood program.

  10. Hey
    12:47 pm May 11, 2014 Permalink

    UNC** won it all in 2009.

    Although it will probably come down soon, so maybe it was right to just put 0 for them 😉

    • A21catsFAN
      12:59 pm May 11, 2014 Permalink

      That wasn’t in the Calipari era. Louisville is no blue blood.

  11. Key Word Here Is...
    12:47 pm May 11, 2014 Permalink

    “Blue Bloods”

    Sorry, UofL trolls…. You aren’t considered a “Blue Blood” program. Now, hurry over to your Rivals board and cry about it and convince yourselves otherwise.

  12. Kevin C.
    12:59 pm May 11, 2014 Permalink

    This will be Crazy Crean’s last season….bank on it.

  13. Jones Returns
    1:04 pm May 11, 2014 Permalink

    I can’t freaking stand it when people lump a national title appearance in with a final four appearance!! Being the runner up is significantly better than losing in the final 4. Cal’s record should be stated as 1 Elite 8, 1 Final 4, 1 National Championship Runner Up, 1 National Championship…. if you don’t thin there’s a difference ask Louisville and Wisconsin

  14. Nick
    2:22 pm May 11, 2014 Permalink

    Sorry, but I do not consider Duke, UCLA and Indiana blue bloods. To me, Duke and UCLA are one coach wonder, John Wooden is maybe the greatest coach of all time and I am not dissing anything about that incredible run, but aside from that, they generally have a high winning percentage in the regular season, but they have been rather unimpressive in the Tournament, 4 Final Fours if you take out Wooden’s stunning run. Duke had some success pre Coach K, but it was limited. Indiana is even worse, really only 2 good coaches, Branch McCracken and Knight. Other then that, only Mike Davis took them to the Final Four.

    To me, the only Blue Bloods are UK, UNC, and KU, they are the only programs the really held elite level standards over multiple coaches and decades.

    I would say that Duke and UConn are likely to join the club in the future. I think Ollie will be able to maintain an elite level at UConn if he stays, and I think Duke is an elite program and will hire an elite coach when K retires and they will maintain the current level of talent and success, and man does it kill me to say that.

    • JCBlue22
      12:30 am May 12, 2014 Permalink

      I agree with you that Duke isn’t a blue blood, they’re definitely a top CBB program today, but their first NC was only 23 years ago. To me, a blue blood should have at least 2 national titles from before the Nixon administration, and at least 2 from after that point, because then, you have the tradition of winning to back up the current success. But when coach K leaves, Duke will wither away. If you ask me, they’ve already started the process. K will retire before the next decade, and then all Duke will be after they’re HOF coach is gone is that one school UNC loves to beat. If i were a betting man, i’d wager that Dukes days as an elite CBB school are numbered.

  15. Ricky_1
    2:28 pm May 11, 2014 Permalink

    You do know IU is no longer a blueblood ,right?

  16. BocasCat
    3:19 pm May 11, 2014 Permalink

    UK has lost 4 postseason games.

  17. Big J
    3:57 pm May 11, 2014 Permalink

    As much as I hate to admit it, UConn needs to be on the list.

    • Nick
      4:26 pm May 11, 2014 Permalink

      They are not a blue blood…yet

    • Rae
      12:40 am May 12, 2014 Permalink

      Not yet. Blueblood is more than elite. There is a difference in Vanderbilt money and Bill Gates money.

      To be a blueblood, you have to contribute something to the game unique to you, IMO:

      UCLA–most titles, and the Wooden era
      KU–best coaching tree, and second most wins
      UNC–NBA greats, aka. MJ, along with an impressive enough number of titles
      Duke–Coach K, the GOAT coach (as much as I hate to say it)
      UK–most wins, and second most titles

      Even if these accolades were to become obsolete (passing up UCLA, losing the win count, etc.) each one of these schools has tradition and history. UConn could be in the process of building that history, but to go from “new money” to “old money” just takes time.

  18. We Have Blueblood Envy
    4:54 pm May 11, 2014 Permalink

    The scum up I-64, APR King – UConn and the terribly irrelevant for decades -IU.

  19. Brandon
    11:26 pm May 11, 2014 Permalink

    I made a post very similar to this, including UConn, Florida, and others. Feel free to repost or reference it – thehiteof[dot]com/post/81822872647/a-numbers-story-of-youth-versus-experience