Update on the Final Four: Here’s The Coach’s assessment of Kentucky’s defeat that ended their perfect season.
“I predicted before the tournament started that Kentucky was going to have trouble with teams that play defense and also shoot 3’s. It didn’t look like the Wildcats watched any film of Wisconsin. However, the Badgers watched film of UK for many, many hours. They got to know their opponents. When you know your opponent’s demeanor, you gain the advantage. That’s always been my philosophy too – you have to know your competition.”
~Coach Georgia Walker
Sports teach us about hard work, discipline and working together as a team, but when the dust settles, it’s about winning – to be the best, to get the trophy and yes, to achieve perfection. While it has happened, perfection is rare especially with today’s teams playing more games in a season versus the ‘old days.’ It’s occurred a mere six times in NCAA Division I Football, but in Division I Men’s Basketball an undefeated season is even harder to attain considering they play more than twice the number of games. This year, Coach John Calipari and the University of Kentucky could make history by being the first basketball team in 39 years to be PERFECT.
The Wildcats entered the NCAA Tournament at 34-0 and play later tonight in the Final Four. If they win and advance to the national championship, emerging as the victor, they will finish at 40-0. The last time a Men’s D-I basketball team remained undefeated was when Coach Bob Knight led the Indiana University Hoosiers to a national championship with a record of 32-0 in 1976. An unblemished season is historical enough, but the Wildcats could truly make history in a way no other team has done before by adding eight more games in the win column.
The only other accomplishment noted as more substantial is that of winning back-to-back national championships… WITH perfect seasons. That honor belongs to UCLA coaching legend, John Wooden. Oh, and by the way, he did it TWICE – he IS and always will be THE coach when it comes to basketball.
Predecessors of Perfection:
- 1976, Indiana Hoosiers 32-0, Coach Bob Knight
- 1973/1972/1967/1964, UCLA Bruins 30-0, Coach John Wooden (Key players: Kareem Abdul-Jabaar aka Dr. J, Bill Walton)
- 1957, North Carolina Tar Heels 32-0, Coach Frank McGuire
- 1956, San Francisco Dons 29-0, Coach Phil Woolpert (Key player: Bill Russell)