Led by Karl Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein, and Devin Booker — all likely top 20 picks in the June NBA Draft — this year’s Kentucky squad enters the NCAA Tournament undefeated at 34-0. If their season ends with this team 40-0 and hoisting up the national championship trophy, they will have to be discussed with the great teams of all time in college hoops. And the greatest teams in Kentucky history, certainly.
Although, ask John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins and they say their 2010 Kentucky team was better.
That’s what Ben Standig of CSNWashington.com did, and he got the expected answer.
“Well, they got the better record, but I wouldn’t say (they’re the better team),” the Washington Wizards guard told CSNwashington.com. The Wall-Cousins squad entered the 2010 tournament a No. 1 seed, but lost in the regional final to West Virginia. That aspect looms large in any trash talk scenario.
“We were a better team, but we didn’t win,” Wall continued. “They’re going to have the leverage because they went 40-0 and got a national championship to back it up.”
“I mean, yeah. [John is] right. They would be considered the best, but we all know the truth,” Cousins said. “Hopefully these guys do pull this off.”
The last team to go undefeated and win the NCAA title? Isiah Thomas’ 1976 Indiana team. Larry Bird’s Indiana State team entered the tournament undefeated but fell in the title game to Magic Johnson’s Michigan State squad.
This Kentucky team has looked like a force of nature this season, a team based around defense. However, they have yet to face one of the top 25 teams in the nation in offensive efficiency, or top 30 in three-point shooting percentage. They will be tested. Wall and Cousins can tell you that in a one-and-done tournament it’s not that easy to win six straight.