This is the time of year that basketball fans live for. At the University of Kentucky in Lexington, basketball fans have plenty to cheer about! The men’s basketball team, the Kentucky Wildcats, have been featured as the most successful NCAA Division 1 basketball program of all time. This program boasts the most all-time wins of any other team in their division. Kentucky is also the school with the most NCAA tournament appearances, 56 in total, 42 of which landed them in the sweet sixteen. The Wildcats have won an impressive 8 overall NCAA championships, second only to UCLA who has walked away with 11.
This season the Wildcats have an overall record of 21-10. Coached by John Calipari since 2009, the team is full of young players who are fighting hard this season to make a name for themselves. Jarred Vanderbilt is the teams top defender, unstoppable with rebounds and also unfortunately prone to injury. During practice on Tuesday, he reportedly suffered another injury that the team is being vague about. No one wants this news to affect the teams standing by the selection committee that could drop them a whole seed if Vanderbilt is significantly injured.
As things stand Kentucky is poised for a 5 or 6 seed and with any luck, this injury will not be enough to bring that down. The truth is, Vanderbilt makes the Wildcats better and definitely would be an asset as the madness begins.
March Madness kicks off this Sunday, March 11th when the Selection Sunday Show airs on TBS at 6 pm Eastern Standard Time. Watch to see which 69 teams will qualify for the NCAA tournament and ultimately play for the 2018 NCAA Championship Title. Last year the North Carolina Tar Heels beat the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the 2017 National Championship game 71-65. As of this week, North Carolina is ranked number 12 in the AP polls with Virginia, Villanova, Xavier and Michigan State at the top four. Kentucky was ranked twenty-three last week, but possibly due to the injury of Vanderbilt has fallen out of the top twenty-five for now.
Coach Calipari is also receiving the honor of being awarded the National Association of Basketball Coaches’ Metropolitan Award by Nike during the Final Four this April at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. This is a great honor and credit to the University of Kentucky and the history of upstanding athletic programs that are attributed to the University. This honor was also bestowed upon Kentucky Coach Adolph Rupp in 1966 and Kentucky Coach C.M. Newton in 1995. Coach Calipari indeed represents the values of leadership, academic discipline, hard work and integrity as he leads these young men during their basketball season and in life. The University of Kentucky basketball team is a program based on core values that uplift and benefit countless students and alumni who are a part of it.