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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: 17-3 Start Puts This Team in Ranks of UK Greats

It’s almost hard to believe considering the start to the season, but this team sits exactly where many people thought they might be.  Top 10 in the country, near the top of the SEC, and 17-3 overall.  And considering 19-1 is just two shots away, this team has put itself in the national title discussion for the remainder of the season.  Is there a team that you don’t think UK could beat?  Of course not.  And wouldn’t that be all a fanbase would need going into March?

There have been a bunch of teams that have started 17-3 or better since coming off probation.  In fact, Rick Pitino did it in each of his last five seasons, and this team is Cal’s 5th team to accomplish that feat.  And how each of those teams finished out the season is very telling:

2019: 17-3 (?????????)
2017: 17-3 (Elite 8)
2015: 20-0 (Final Four)
2012: 19-1 (National Champs)
2010: 19-1 (Elite 8)
2005: 18-2 (Elite 8)
2004: 17-3 (2nd Round)
2003: 17-3 (Elite 8)
1998: 18-2 (National Champs)
1997: 18-2 (National Runner-Up)
1996: 19-1 (National Champs)
1995: 17-3 (Elite 8)
1994: 17-3 (2nd Round)
1993: 18-2 (Final Four)

In the previous 14 times it happened, 12 of those teams made at least the Elite 8, 6 of them made the Final Four, and each of the national champions in that time frame were 17-3 or better.

Is there any guarantee this team will make the Elite 8 or further?  Of course not.  The tournament has proven time and again that top teams are going to slip up.  You just hope it won’t be our team.  But despite all of the struggles in November and December, this team is right where all of the other great UK teams of the last 25 years have been.  This team can join that list above as a forever remembered team.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

5 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: 17-3 Start Puts This Team in Ranks of UK Greats

  1. Smyrna_Cat
    10:13 am January 31, 2019 Permalink

    And 2 of those 3 losses were by a combined 3 points. I like my team.

    • a21CATSfan
      10:44 am January 31, 2019 Permalink

      All 3 losses were the opponents respective best games all year, including dUKe. No one every seems to bring that up, and it’s hard for rankings (human or computer) to determine that. But, this team is just one miss by Powell, or one make by Herro away from being #3 or #4 in the country and a 1-seed. You win or you learn. CATS

  2. bwise
    10:14 am January 31, 2019 Permalink

    Still hurts seeing the 2004 team…fking uab

    • Underdog
      10:45 am January 31, 2019 Permalink

      That Chuck Hayes team was the best in college. Tremendous upset.


      They were crushing their opponents. And playing beautiful basketball.
      What a joy to watch!!

      UAB got lucky. They lose 9 out 10 normally but that one day ended with the far interior team winning on Fitch’s untimely miss at the end.

  3. Catcasey1
    10:26 am January 31, 2019 Permalink

    Wish no.23 was on this team