Head coach John Calipari’s team led by Karl-Anthony Towns and the Harrison Twins will be the top overall seed in the 2015 NCAA Tournament and a huge favorite to not only get to Indianapolis, but to win the Tournament as well.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Wildcats Roster
The 2014-15 Kentucky Wildcats roster boasts a number of future, potential NBA starters:
Marcus Lee, Forward
Devin Booker, Guard
Aaron Harrison, Guard
Tyler Ulis, Guard
Andrew Harrison, Guard
Karl-Anthony Towns, Forward
Sam Malone, Guard
Willie Cauley-Stein, Forward
Tod Lanter, Guard
Alex Poythress, Forward
EJ Floreal, Guard
Dominique Hawkins, Guard
Brian Long, Guard
Derek Willis, Forward
Trey Lyles, Forward
Dakari Johnson, Center
2.Kentucky’s 34-0 Regular Season Puts Them in Elite Company
Three teams: Wichita State (2013), UNLV (1991) and Indiana State (1979) have finished the regular season undefeated, only to lose in the NCAA Tournament. The last team to finish a perfect season and win the NCAA Dvision I Men’s Basketball Championship were the 1975-76 Indiana Hoosiers coached by Hall of Famer Bobby Knight.
UNLV went the furthest into the NCAA Tournament, losing to Duke in the 1991 National Championship Game.
3. John Calipari Is Quickly Ascending Historically
John Calipari has reached the Final Four four times in his last seven seasons — he reached the 2008 Final four and lost to Kansas in the National Championship Game as head coach of Memphis. He is also one of only two coaches to lead three different schools to a Final Four (UMass-1996; Memphis-2008; Kentucky-2011, 2012, 2014).
When he led Kentucky back to the No. 1 spot in the country, Calipari became one of only two coaches (Frank McGuire) in NCAA history to lead three teams to a No. 1 ranking. He led UMass to a No. 1 ranking in 1995 and 1996, and he led Memphis to the No. 1 spot in the 2008 season.
4. Kentucky Has Been to the Final Four in 3 of the Last 4 Seasons
Kentucky has reached the Final Four under John Calipari in 2011, 2012 and 2014. In 2011, they lost to UConn in the National Semifinal. In 2012, they defeated Kansas to win the National Championship. In 2014, Kentucky lost to UConn in the National Championship Game.
Calipari’s team led by John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins also made an Elite Eight run in 2010, only to fall short to Bob Huggins and West Virginia in the East Regional Final.
5. The University is Located in Lexington
According to the University of Kentucky’s official campus guide:
The University of Kentucky’s 800-plus acre campus is located just south of downtown Lexington, Kentucky. Major routes into town are marked with UK logo signs leading to campus.
The University was established in 1865.