Sunday, March 28, 2010

Kentucky Basketball: From 60 to 0 to 60 in 1826 days flat

In the next few hours, days, and weeks - I expect to hear alot about Kentucky's season and the wild ride over the last 3 years. I thought we could take a look at the last few milestones in Kentucky Basketball and recent success or lack there of.

1826 Days Ago: Tubby Smith led Kentucky to their last Elite 8 appearance against Michigan State. Cat fans were furious with the short coming of another great Kentucky team.

1469 Days Ago: Tubby led Kentucky to their lowest seeded NCAA appearance in memory as a #8 in tournament. Kentucky was knocked out in the second round shortly there after.
1107 Days Ago: Kentucky is a #8 seed for the second time in two years. Kentucky fans are outraged and are looking for blood - blue or not. They then punch their ticket from the dance in the second round.
1100 Days Ago: Tubby Smith stepped down as the Kentucky Head Coach and what seemed like moments later, Smith was hired at Minnesota.

1086 Days Ago: Texas A&M's Billy Gillispie was hired at UK and announced as a saviour for all things Blue. The future was bright and the fan base was energized - at least for that off-season.

741 Days Ago: Kentucky went into the NCAA as an eleven seed after a rough start and rocky season full of injuries. Kentucky lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament for the first time in more than 15 years.

375 Days Ago: Kentucky makes their first NIT appearance in 30 years against UNLV. Kentucky goes on to lose 8 days later to Notre Dame.

365 Days Ago: Billy Clyde Gillispie was chased by the media, fired, and I think Kentucky fans tried to draw-and-quarter him (that is unconfirmed though).

361 Days Ago: Kentucky hires John Calipari as their head coach, making him the highest paid coach in college basketball history at $3.7 million/year. With Cal, came the Big Blue Revival tent and circus along with majority of his #1 rated recruiting class from Memphis.

60 Days Ago: Kentucky held the #1 ranking in the country for the first time since 2003. They accumulated the best start in Kentucky history and then fell to South Carolina 1.5 days later in a stunning upset for their first loss of the season.

13 Days Ago: Kentucky wins their 26th SEC Tournament Championship and the first since 2004 against Mississippi State in a thrilling come back win. They then sealed up a #1 seed in the tournament hours later.

1 Day Ago: Kentucky returns to the Elite 8 and loses to West Virginia ending their comeback to relevance season.

Although disappointed with the last game, I am pleased with the outcome of the season as a whole. Although its cloudy and grey today, the sun shines bright on my old Kentucky home and the Wildcats that play for them. It was an amazing turnaround for a team that was on a quick downward spiral just 360 days ago.

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