ESPN’s latest documentary series The Last Dance continues to sweep the nation and dominate the internet each Sunday. While the 10-part series features Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, it’s easy to wonder what other teams and players would make excellent subjects for a similar docuseries in the future.
Rob Dauster of NBC Sports had the same thought, so he made his own top-12 list of college basketball teams that deserve their own camera crew. Of course, loyal members of the BBN could argue every Kentucky basketball team has its own unique story that would work on primetime, but Dauster managed to narrow it down to three: the Untouchables (1995-96), Billy Gillespie’s final year in Lexington (2008-09) and the year of the Tweak (2013-14). His full list is available here.
Here’s his justification:
There are some people that will tell you that the 1996 Kentucky Wildcats — The Untouchables — were the single greatest college basketball team ever assembled. There were six first round picks on the roster (Ron Mercer, Walter McCarty, Antoine Walker, Tony Delk, Nazr Mohammed and Derek Anderson), a seventh second round pick (Mark Pope) and two more guys (Wayne Turner, Jeff Sheppard) that had cups of coffee in the NBA. They were coached by one of the greatest to ever do it in Rick Pitino. They went 34-2 on the season, losing to UMass — who was coached by John Calipari — in November before getting their revenge in the Final Four, and to Mississippi State — another Final Four team — in the SEC title game.
There are some absolutely insane stories floating around the college basketball world from Billy Gillespie’s time in Lexington. Some of them have been told. Many more have not. And all of them would make for absolutely phenomenal television, all the way up until the moment he, quite literally, ran away from reporters while pretending to be on the phone when he was fired.
I’m all in.
There are plenty of options for the John Calipari era in Lexington, but for me, 2014 takes the cake.
Not only was this team touted as the best recruiting class of all-time, but they were expected to go 40-0 and cruise to a national title. Instead, the likes of Julius Randle, Willie Cauley-Stein and the Harrison twins went 22-9 in the regular season, finished six full games out of first in the SEC and then made a run to the national title game.
Why couldn’t everyone get along? What changed in March? What did Cal have to do to get everyone on the same page?
I’m sure I’m not the only one that would love to see that in a The Last Dance documentary.
It’s hard to argue with these picks. To read the other nine stories that Dauster deemed worthy – including one more Calipari team, Bobby Knight and the fake recruit, the Fab Five team and perhaps the first UNC group to take “paper classes” – check out the full article here.
Which Kentucky seasons would you like to see made into a docuseries by the world wide leader?