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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: How Often Do Championship Teams Lose 2 in a Row?


Let’s get some perspective real quick about where we are in this UK basketball season.  This team is 17-3 and 7-1 in the SEC.  We are one of the 10 best teams in the country and likely headed to another SEC championship.  And while this team certainly has holes, what team doesn’t?  But after you suffer 2 straight losses, and you are in this fanbase, the panic button is hit quickly and often.  This team has likely lost a chance at a #1 seed unless they run the table for the rest of their schedule and get some help.  But, right now the concern is if UK might be actually declining as evidenced by their 2-game losing streak.

So, how do we know how much to panic?  I looked back at the last 10 national champions to see if they had any kind of 2-game losing streak similar to the Cats.  The results were a little surprising.  Look at which championship teams had a 2-game losing streak and when that streak occurred:

2016 – Villanova: did not lose 2 in a row

2015 – Duke: lost 2 in a row once (January)

2014 – UCONN: lost 2 in a row once (December-January)

2013 – Louisville: lost 3 in a row once (January)

2012 – Kentucky: did not lose 2 in a row

2011 – UCONN: lost 2 in a row three times (January, February, and March)

2010 – Duke: did not lose 2 in a row

2009 – North Carolina: did not lose 2 in a row

2008 – Kansas: did not lose 2 in a row

2007: Florida: lost 2 in a row once (February)

2006: Florida: lost 2 in a row once, lost 3 in a row once (January and February)

So, 2 interesting facts to focus on here:

  1. 6 of the last 10 champions have had a 2-game losing streak during their season and 2 of them (2013 Louisville and 2006 Florida) lost 3 games in a row.
  2. Every single team that had a 2-game losing streak did so during their conference play.

So here is the point: KENTUCKY IS STILL A SERIOUS NATIONAL TITLE CONTENDER.  Each of these champions did one or both of these things: got things turned around come March and got a nice NCAA Tournament draw.  Kentucky still has plenty of time for both.  You never know how the NCAA Tournament will play out but I still feel GREAT about this team, especially since their really isn’t an elite group of teams this year but rather a bunch of really good ones.  Kentucky is definitely in that mix and 2 losses don’t change that.

Don’t hit the panic button yet.  Most champions go through turmoil like this.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

9 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: How Often Do Championship Teams Lose 2 in a Row?

  1. WatchutalkinboutWillis
    8:07 am January 30, 2017 Permalink

    This is good information. I hope the players and the coaching staff have learned something from these two losses. Especially by blowing the lead against Kansas.

  2. Ben27
    8:26 am January 30, 2017 Permalink

    We are 17-4, with losses to UCLA, Louisville, TN and Kansas. We are 1-3 against Top teams. Florida is the only ranked team left on our schedule. Quality win are more important than bad losses. This team looks totally lost at times! We must learn to play defense and play together.

    I am tired of Cal saying look how young we are. We are not robots. When you recruit like Cal, you are freshman in December, Sophomores in January, Juniors in February and Seniors in March. This is Cal’s system and he needs to make it work. This team is way behind schedule. They will be Juniors in a few days, but they are still playing like freshmen.

  3. ukjaybrat
    8:36 am January 30, 2017 Permalink

    good news:
    3 of our 4 losses were to top 10-15 teams

    bad news:
    2 of those were at home.

    How many times has a champion lost multiple games at home?

  4. bigblue26
    8:37 am January 30, 2017 Permalink

    Don’t disagree with your argument, believe they will grow from this skid. But, FYI we are 17-4.

  5. kjd
    9:15 am January 30, 2017 Permalink

    This team cannot play defense. You can’t win a title without defense. You don’t make the Final Four without defense.
    Our flaws have been exposed.
    Do we make it past the first weekend of NCAA tournament? Much improvement is needed.

    9:25 am January 30, 2017 Permalink

    This is not a very good team right now. Getting out coached like this is concerning. I mean how do you let your star player just go quiet like that for so long without calling a play for him? Also we do not have any natural shot blockers so they need to play disciplined defense if I see Bam or Wenyen leave their position to go block a shot they have no chance at blocking, I’m going to crazy! We need to play defense like Virginia, no need to pressure the ball like Fox is because it’s not even effecting the ball handler, he’s not like Tyler on the ball. Just play disciplined defense and force contested shots. Also lets get some more plays in for Monk, they are denying him a lot how about some double screens to shake him loose? When he scores the team plays much better, the crowd cheers louder for him, we need him to score. Were not ready to compete with top level teams right now, I hope they will be in a month.

    9:44 am January 30, 2017 Permalink

    Also can we please stop force feeding Bam? He hasn’t shown that he has the skills and back to the basket game to get force fed like that, he often runs into trouble and has issues reading double teams and finding open shooters for the kick out. His game should be lobs dunks and dump off passes for dunks. He is more Dwight Howard than Shaq. This is another error by Cal, he needs to stop preaching “throw him the ball”, when they do that he ends up having to use his brute strength and literally force his way to the rim. It’s really painful to watch. Also he needs to work on rebounding, he should average a double double.

  8. kjd
    11:31 am January 30, 2017 Permalink

    How about we feed Monk the ball when he plays some defense.

  9. TWhite
    1:29 pm January 30, 2017 Permalink

    Let’s just get rid of all of them. Everybody. Players, coaches, managers. All of them….Guys pump the breaks. We are 17-4 with three losses coming to quite possible 3 of the top 5 teams in the country. And every game has been a nail biter. If it wasn’t for a lucky bounce on a Frank Mason three, we might win that game. It’s still JANUARY! We have six weeks to get it right. Just chill.