'Scary' Kentucky could redefine greatness in college basketball
There's a new paradigm we must operate under with this undefeated, No. 1-ranked, in-a-class-of-its-own Kentucky team after the Wildcats' 39-point stomping of UCLA on Saturday, a game in which the margin of victory easily could have been double that.
Starting with the epic in-state battle two days after Christmas at Louisville — a team that also ought to be undefeated heading into the game, with the nation's second-ranked defense going against Kentucky's No. 1 defense — we must look at each and every Kentucky basketball game from now until April 6 in Indianapolis as an opportunity to watch something historic.
Until the Wildcats lose which, if you asked the opposing coach after Kentucky's pre-Christmas romp, the Wildcats may not do any time before cutting down those nets.
"They continue to play at that level defensively, I'm a firm believer they got a chance to run this thing out — they're that good," UCLA coach Steve Alford said after Kentucky held his team, the 18th-highest scoring team of the 351 in Division I, to seven first-half points in an 83-44 Kentucky blowout.
In my 24 years of coaching, this is best team I've coached against," he continued. "There's not a weakness on the team."
It is one thing when a talking head tosses out a provocative, click able preseason claim that this Kentucky team could be the first in nearly 40 years to go undefeated and win the national title. I wrote that in October and caught plenty of flak for over hyping a bunch of teenagers.
But it's quite another thing when a head coach who has won a national title himself — as a player for Indiana, 11 years after those same Hoosiers were the last college basketball team to go undefeated in 1976 — says the same thing.
Look, it's a long season. Kentucky is only 12-0, still 28 wins short of running the table and winning the national title.