Skip to content

Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: A Preseason #1 or #2 Ranking…..what does it mean?

 

We all know that the expectations for the Kentucky basketball team coming into this season are high once again.  And with that expected high ranking comes fans expectations that a national title or Final Four is a realistic goal this team could have.  But, what does that high ranking generally mean for season success?  As amazing as it seems, Kentucky has only been ranked in the Top 2 of the preseason AP poll 10 times in the last 45 years.  So, just how good did those 10 teams turn out?  Below are the major stats for each of those squads:

2014-15
Preseason Ranking: 1
NCAA Tournament Result: FINAL FOUR
NCAA Seed: 1
SEC Result: 16-0
SEC Tournament Result: Champion
Final Record: 38-1

2013-14
Preseason Ranking: 1
NCAA Tournament Result: NATIONAL RUNNER-UP
NCAA Seed: 8
SEC Result: 12-6
SEC Tournament Result: Runner-Up
Final Record: 29-11

2011-12
Preseason Ranking: 2
NCAA Tournament Result: NATIONAL CHAMPS
NCAA Seed: 1
SEC Result: 16-0
SEC Tournament Result: Runner-Up
Final Record: 38-2

1995-96
Preseason Ranking: 1
NCAA Tournament Result: NATIONAL CHAMPS
NCAA Seed: 1
SEC Result: 16-0
SEC Tournament Result: Runner-Up
Final Record: 34-2

1993-94
Preseason Ranking: 2
NCAA Tournament Result: 2nd round (Marquette)
NCAA Seed: 3
SEC Result: 12-4
SEC Tournament Result:
CHAMPIONS Final Record: 27-7

1983-84
Preseason Ranking: 2
NCAA Tournament Result: Final Four (Georgetown)
NCAA Seed: 1
SEC Result: 14-4
SEC Tournament Result: CHAMPIONS
Final Record: 29-5

1980-81
Preseason Ranking: 1
NCAA Tournament Result: 2nd Round (UAB)
NCAA Seed: 2
SEC Result: 15-3
SEC Tournament Result: Quarterfinals
Final Record: 22-6

1979-80
Preseason Ranking: 2
NCAA Tournament Result: Sweet 16 (Duke)
NCAA Seed: 1
SEC Result: 15-3
SEC Tournament Result: Runner-Up
Final Record: 29-6

1977-78
Preseason Ranking: 2
NCAA Tournament Result: CHAMPIONS
NCAA Seed: No seeding in tournament
SEC Result: 16-2
SEC Tournament Result: No tournament held
Final Record: 30-2

1969-70
Preseason Ranking: 2
NCAA Tournament Result: Elite 8 (Jacksonville)
NCAA Seed: No seeding in tournament
SEC Result: 17-1
SEC Tournament Result: No tournament held
Final Record: 26-2

So, what are the final stats for these 7 teams combined:
National Champions: 3 out of 10
Final Four: 6 out of 10
SEC Regular Season Champs: 8 out of 10 (The 1994 team only won East Division)
SEC Tournament Champs: 3 out of 8
#1 Seed in NCAA Tournament: 5 out of 8
25-Win Season: 9 out of 10

I think this shows us one major thing, and that is that all of these teams were really, really good.  All of the teams were SEC champions in one way or another.  All the teams had over 20 wins, and 9 of the 10 had over 25 wins.  But the NCAA Tournament is maybe the greatest crap-shoot in sports. The best teams rarely win the whole tournament, and just making the Final Four is a 50-50 proposition.  I would say that only the 1994 team was NOT a Final Four caliber team, and yet only 6 of the other 9 teams actually made the Final Four.  That being said, if you told me that Kentucky had a 66% chance to make the Final Four right now, I would take that in a heartbeat.  I hope you would too if you are being realistic.

On the other side of the coin, the 1978, 1996, and 2012 teams made it happen during the tournament, and I would say that before their tournaments, they would already be called the best 3 teams of this group.  So, the most elite of elite UK teams usually prove it during the NCAA Tournament.  And until this team can put together 6 wins in late March and early April, all this preseason hype and ranking doesn’t mean jack.  Even a 30-win season and SEC title don’t mean jack either.  This years team will revolve around 6 games and 6 games only. That’s how it is at Kentucky and the above stats show that.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

7 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: A Preseason #1 or #2 Ranking…..what does it mean?



  1. frankie stigers
    9:13 am July 13, 2015 Permalink

    40 and 0 baby



    • syrin23
      2:57 pm July 13, 2015 Permalink

      You’re forgetting that Cal will have to coach a game in the tourney that will be close, and when we get a one point lead with nine minutes to go, he will shut down the offense, and keep players in the game who aren’t performing.



  2. Matt
    9:48 am July 13, 2015 Permalink

    I’m being completely nitpicky about this, but the 2014-2015 SEC record was actually 18-0.



  3. cincicat
    11:25 am July 13, 2015 Permalink

    If Rodney Dent doesn’t go down with a knee injury, the 1994 team would have been a legit FF team and a contender for champ.



  4. Angelo
    11:57 am July 13, 2015 Permalink

    What about Wall and Cousin’s team? What were they preseason?



  5. Matt
    12:03 pm July 13, 2015 Permalink


  6. syrin23
    2:56 pm July 13, 2015 Permalink

    Where are we in the pre-season NBA draft rankings? That’s what matters now. Have we hung a banner in Rupp yet for winning this year’s NBA draft despite losing to a lesser talented team to utterly terrible in game coaching?