Every college basketball team has the desire to qualify for the NCAA tournament and win it all. Not just for themselves, but also for their school and fans. The second-greatest accomplishment for a college basketball team going the distance would be to experience a perfect season. There is one team that not only deserves this, but also is currently on their way to having an undefeated season with a 17-0 record.
The University of Kentucky is one of nation’s best college basketball programs and the team could not have this kind of success without the leadership of head coach John Calipari. He’s brought the school’s program back on top as one of the best, has proven himself as a great coach and one of the best by bringing them to the Final Four three times in his first five years. That includes winning a championship and communicating with the fans better than any college coach in the country.
Kentucky is near the top of the leader board in every major category of team success, including wins, championships, Final Four appearances, NCAA Tournament success and fan attendance.
In 2012, the Wildcats brought home the NCAA National Championship, but had previously went through a 14-year championship drought. Even before this most recent title, Kentucky has been known for having some very special and dedicated fans.
Having diehard fans support a college program is vital toward success. Without a dedicated fan base, winning becomes harder and less special. That doesn’t happen for Kentucky since they own one of the largest fan bases in all of college basketball. They can always count on students and local fans to fill up Rupp Arena.
Having a perfect season would make the team happy, but it would make the fans ecstatic, and they’re just as important as the players. These are the people who follow the team on road games and are completely dedicated in providing unwavering support. That’s one of the qualities that make them the best around.
There is no one else like them and the Wildcats can count on their support every time they take the floor. If they didn’t fill up the stands on a nightly basis, I don’t think they’d still be undefeated. It’s a different type of energy when there are people cheering for you and getting your adrenaline going after every basket. It’s a feeling some teams never get to experience.
Kentucky Wildcat fans have a reason to be excited and should be hopeful for a perfect season. Not only did the team have a preseason no. 1 ranking, but Calipari has put together a team full of future NBA pros, making it one of the most talented teams in college basketball history.
Freshman Karl-Anthony Towns is one of the toughest players in the country to guard and could be the no. 1 pick in the 2015 NBA draft. Towns is the reigning Gatorade National Player of the Year and is extremely versatile. With this man on the team, fans are excited to see what he brings to the table.
Along with Towns, Calipari and his staff have recruited three McDonald’s All-Americans. Tyler Ulis, Trey Lyles and Devin Booker have all been helping the Wildcats to victory this season.
Ulis stands at 5’9” and the crowd loves their point guard. He racks up points and brings a great energy to the game when backing up Andrew Harrison. Booker is one of the best shooters in the 2014 class. Lyles, similar to Towns, can play any position on the court. He’s a smart player and knows the game well, giving him that extra advantage and the stand-out moments he deserves.
A perfect season for Kentucky and its fans would mean much more than just defeating the toughest non-conference opponents in the country. Being 17-0 and hanging on after a few close calls means they have what it takes to win out the remainder of the season. They’ve meshed together well to create a team of superstars that can work together and have what it takes to go the distance.
Every other team in the conference should be scared of them. The Wildcats are the ones to beat and they should be proud of what they’ve done to this point.
There are still tough games ahead on the schedule, but fans will be there every step of the way, hoping the dream of a perfect season eventually becomes a reality.
*Section Photo credit to lehighvalleylive.com and Featured Photo (above) credit to kentucky.com.