Contact Us

John Calipari Rethinks an Undefeated Season

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Right after the Kentucky Wildcats won the 2012 National Championship, Coach John Calipari said that he would like to have an undefeated season before he leaves coaching. Yep, to be part of a short list that includes the ’72 Dolphins and the ’76 Hoosiers is his dream. But, now he says that’s unlikely to happen.

Ya think?

He’s a smart guy. And smart guys know that undefeated seasons are a thing of the past. We’re talkin’ 37 years since the last undefeated college basketball team. Bob Knight’s bicentennial crew started four seniors and one junior. These days, hardcore UK fans might be forgiven for asking, “What’s a senior?”

And that’s my point.

No team can legitimately contemplate such a feat in the era of one-and-done. Nowadays, for a team to go undefeated, you’d have to have players as talented as, say, Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, stick around for four years. But when 17-year-olds’ names are being uttered by NBA team owners, fuhgeddaboutit.

I like what Sports Illustrated‘s Seth Davis said on the subject. When Indiana won the title in 1976 and finished 32-0, there had hardly been any media coverage leading up to the historic victory. And, even at that, media coverage in 1976 for college basketball was incredibly light. It was almost like, “Oh, you know what? That team just went undefeated. That’s pretty cool.”

Now, you have Internet and 24 hour sports coverage from at least four different ESPN networks, not to mention any number of ways we get updates on our smart phones. When something major happens, we know about it instantly. Plus, college basketball is a much bigger deal now that it ever has been.

I say all that to say this:

The pressure created by the multitude of media outlets that are at our disposal is far too great for young teams to handle when it comes to the notion of an undefeated season. Teams are just way younger than they have ever been.

Yes, Kentucky is one of the youngest teams I have ever seen, but kids leave early for the NBA all the time, from all over the country. Truly great players never stick around for four years. And John Calipari knows that. And he knows that’s what it would take for an undefeated season.

And he knows the model he has built at UK precludes that from ever happening again.

Best of WBKR

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for The BKR Bunch quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive The BKR Bunch contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.