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“Win or lose, Kentucky is dominating college basketball”

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Considering how they’re dominating the headlines this week, you’d think Kentucky actually won the National Championship game, not UConn. CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein agrees in his latest column, in which he says, “Win or lose, Kentucky is dominating college basketball.” Here’s a quick snippet:

It’s been a little more than 10 days since UConn beat the Wildcats for the 2014 national title but since that moment, Kentucky has still been the one team that’s dominated virtually every headline in the sport. Maybe it’s because the Wildcats have so many players debating whether or not to leave Lexington early for the NBA Draft. Maybe it’s because John Calipari has been on literally every media outlet possible in the past week to talk about his team’s season and promote his new book — “Players First.” Or maybe it’s just because right now Kentucky will always be the dominant storyline in college basketball.

Now feels like the appropriate time to revisit Al McGuire’s classic quote about Kentucky basketball: “They had it before you, they had it during you, they’ll have it when you’re gone.”

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

30 Comments for “Win or lose, Kentucky is dominating college basketball”

    12:09 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

    Tell us something we dont already now.

    12:10 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

    Cats for life and in heaven, when I die! Happy Good Friday!

  3. bosshog
    12:13 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

    IMO this is true because Kentucky is dominating in all the ways that matter most in our current society: making money, media exposure and brand, a vicious or virtuous circle depending on your perspective. As other recent posts have amply indicated, our former players are making the most combined money, our coach dominates the headlines and our brand is always on display. And we are indeed winning a lot when it matters most, even if we missed two opportunities against UCONN. But who cares? Have the Cowboys stopped being the Cowboys because they’re not winning anything? No. And like Jerry Jones, Cal ultimately knows (and does) this very thing.

  4. Duuuuuude
    12:15 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

    I loved Al McQuire and he made no bones about loving Kentucky. He would have been a great coach here had things been a little different back in the day. I loved it when he would broadcast a UK game.

    I’ve seen all the programs, touching them as a coach, a player, and as an NBC broadcast commentator the past four or five years. I have touched all the so-called capitals of basketball, but when it gets down to the short stroke the only true captial of basketball is Lexington. I even think there are times when the horses kinda bend down a little to the roundball.
    Al McGuire
    Former Marquette Coach

    My genuine opinion of the Kentucky basketball program is that there is only one and it is top drawer, Park Avenue, and that all other basketball programs in the country think they are, but they are not.

    Al McGuire
    Former Marquette Coach

    • Megan
      12:28 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

      I miss Al. You respected what he had to say about the game you were watching, and about the issues he’d talk about. And he was a lot of fun. Had a million little stories.

    • tom
      1:16 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

      Agree 100%. Al McGuire loved the passion and history surrounding Kentucky basketball. I had the pleasure of broadcasting a number of games with Coach. He was doing the color commentary. I remember we were broadcasting a game at the the old MECCA Arena in Milwaukee. It was pouring rain that day and there was a small leak in the roof that allowed a little moisture on the floor. There was a delay in the game while they mopped it up so Al started making up new rules for pro basketball (which he thought was the most boring form of the game imaginable). A couple I remember. He felt (tongue ‘n cheek) that if you got three points for a long shot you should receive only one point for a dunk or layup. But my favorite was that because he believed pro players really only played the last 5 minutes of every game, just give each team 95 points and make the game 5 minutes long! You might have 600 games in a season. But what he liked was that at mid season you could be 100 games out of first places and still have a chance to catch up.
      He was a great icon of the game.

  5. chris
    12:15 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

    “Or maybe it’s just because right now Kentucky will always be the dominant storyline in college basketball.”

    right now…always… that’s a hard sentence to sometimes never follow.

    • Han
      1:05 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

      It is odd, but it’s basically saying that in this era, UK is the main subject. If Cal leaves and we don’t rebound, it probably won’t be true.

    • UKfan
      2:56 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

      You can’t keep a good team down. Kentucky basketball is bigger than any single person, including Coach Cal.

  6. Casper
    12:18 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

    Cal is a genius!!!
    If he stays until he retires he will surpass Rupp!

    • Han
      1:09 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

      If the NBA goes to 2 or 3 years, even if they allow entry right out of high school, Cal’s still going to be able to recruit the best of the rest. As good as they are, a lot of the top kids have positive role models that want them to go to college, even if it’s just a year. So if they can financially handle not having that NBA money for their families, I think a lot of star players still come. And once Cal stops being known as one-and-done’s poster child, he can still fall back on his record and the development of players and every other great thing.

      I’d love to have Cal here another 10-20 years, if he wants it. We’d catch UCLA, for sure.

  7. Richard Rapp
    12:19 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

    Preach on Sista’. The Yankees, the Packers, the Cats. The cream. Get used to it(I’m lookin’ at you, little brother).

  8. Hartline
    12:25 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

    Aren’t we suppose to dislike Jon Rothstein?

  9. KMS35
    12:26 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

    Unless you’re reading ESPN, on which Kentucky is only mentioned briefly after a loss or if there is some sort of speculation about Cal.

    • Duuuuuude
      12:34 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

      Yes……did the same thing with Pitino when he was here. Pitino was younger and everything he did centered around himself. Cal is a different person though….. more mature….. been to the NBA as Pitino did and failed so he knows what that is all about. I do not see him leaving at all if this 2 and thru gets done.

  10. By the numbers...............
    12:40 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

    Florida has most former players in the NBA playoffs: 10 former Florida players are in the NBA Playoffs, giving the Gators more than any other program. North Carolina has nine former players in the NBA Playoffs, Duke has eight and Kansas, Kentucky and Texas each have seven. The former Florida players set to compete are Udonis Haslem (Miami), Joakim Noah (Chicago), Bradley Beal (Washington), Matt Bonner (San Antonio), Chandler Parsons (Houston), David Lee (Golden State), Marreese Speights (Golden State), Nick Calathes (Memphis) and Mike Miller (Memphis). Al Horford (Atlanta) is out for the playoffs with a pectoral muscle injury.

    • Scott Robinson
      3:00 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

      So what. The only reason is because Florida’s players aren’t early round draft picks that are going to developing teams. In reality they are going at the bottom of the draft and to better teams. What is your point? What teams has the most and the best players would be the question…..thanks for your pointless point Gator fan.

  11. Han
    1:03 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

    And the Dukes and Kansases and UNCs and Indianas and Tennessees/Missouris are all subconsciously happy we exist because no one’s paying attention to their negative stories nationally.

    Duke and Kansas are both underachieving while also leading the one-and-done charge (if UK didn’t exist or was under BCG). UNC is still pretending they weren’t cheating for decades. Indiana is a train wreck with a coach under contract 6 more years. Tennessee and Missouri both just had coaches leave because their programs suck. As long as there’s Kentucky to talk about and hate, all of those stories get dropped from the front page.

    • BillDozer
      1:10 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

      I disagree about UT and Mizzou basketball not being good programs. They are solid programs with plenty of support and built in advantages and good jobs in a winnable league. Those coaches left bc they were subpar and didnt set themselves up for future success very well.

    • Han
      1:13 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

      Is there potential at Tennessee and Mizzou? Yes. Moreso than at several SEC schools. But right now, moreso Tennessee than Mizzou, it’s not the best atmosphere for a men’s basketball coach. UT fans wanted Pearl back, and whoever takes the job is going to have to deal with constant comparisons to Pearl, who has fewer expectations at Auburn.

  12. bluecat0
    1:07 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

    I beleive Al said “After you’re gone”, but it works either way.”We ARE college basketball!”

  13. Sappy Claus
    1:11 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

    Yes, because we were GREAT before Cal got here. Give me a break, we won’t be able to replace him and the program will return to average at best when he leaves. Hopefully that won’t be for a longgggg time

    • Han
      1:15 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

      As best I’ve seen, there’s not anyone else out there who’s perfect for this job like Cal was, at least right now. But while BCG was a disaster, even in Tubby’s waning years we were still notable. We just weren’t elite anymore. And Tubby did get more leeway because he won the title early on. Our program won’t stay down for long when Cal leaves, and maybe he’ll even set us up to stay strong, depending when he goes.

  14. Scott Robinson
    2:48 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink


  15. kentuckyfan66
    3:20 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

    Tyler, construct your own original posts like Drew and Matt instead of only referencing articles from other sites. Their unique insight is what at one point made this site the absolute best Kentucky news site. It has gone downhill from there.

  16. Charlie
    5:17 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

    Leave it to a professional journalist to still not understand the definition of literally. Someone, please bring the word figuratively back into style.

  17. bigbill992001
    7:37 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

    We might be the dominate media covered school, but UCONN has quietely won THREE NCs in the last 11 yrs. I cant remember the last time we beat UCONN.

    • Lexington 3
      6:19 am April 19, 2014 Permalink

      John. Wall. Beat them by himself.

  18. Jim
    12:16 am April 19, 2014 Permalink

    There should be a column wrote “Win or Lose KY fans are obsessed”. A few months ago more than half of you wrote this team off. Now they were an awesome team that got cheated out of a national championship. If they are winning Cal knows what he is doing as a coach(lie), but if they are losing you are ready for new leadership. Cal should bolt to LA and leave these crazed fans.

  19. dj
    11:02 am April 19, 2014 Permalink

    We must be dominating college basketball because everyones fans keep posting on this site, attempting to make their programs relevent.