Kentucky’s 2012 NCAA Champ Team Voted Best of the Decade
In a decade that started with Duke winning the NCAA title over Butler, remember when Gordon Hayward almost spoiled the party with possible game-winning three? and ended with Virginia winning its first-ever championship, one team reigned above the rest: the 2011-2012 Kentucky Wildcats.
The Associated Press asked its top 25 voters to decide the team of the last decade and they almost unanimously voted for the 2012 title-winning Cats. 21 out of 26 media panelists chose Kentucky.
Coach John Calipari had signed the number one recruiting class in the country for the third year in a row in 2011 consisting of Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marquis Teague, and Kyle Wiltjer. The 6-10 Davis was the nation's consensus number one player. The Cats' sophomore class wasn't too shabby either with power forward Terrence Jones and shooting guard Doron Lamb. Kentucky native and small forward senior Darius Miller rounded out what would be a one of kind team.
The Cats would go on to win a record-breaking 38 games and they only suffered two losses, one in the regular season to Indiana (by one point), and they would lose the SEC title after going undefeated in the conference to Vanderbilt. The team's ranking, which was 1 or 2 the entire season only fell to number 3 for two weeks.
The Cats would encounter two home-state teams in the 2012 NCAA tournament, Western Kentucky in the first round and Louisville in the Final Four.
This all culminated in Kentucky's eighth national championship; they defeated Kansas 67-59. Anthony Davis would win six National Player of the Year awards and also MVP of the NCAA Tournament, SEC Player and Freshman of the Year honors. He also won two Defensive Player of the Year awards. Oh yeah, he set the NCAA freshman block record with 186.
Not bad for playing one season.