Since 2009, John Calipari has been at the helm of the most prestigious program in College Basketball. Throughout his time at Kentucky there have been so many moments that capture our hearts and stay in our memory forever. I’m continuing a series over the next four days that will rank what I believe to be the top 5 moments of the Calipari Era. Friday I had our #5 moment with Aaron Harrison and the 2014 Final Four run, Saturday I had our #4 moment with Boogie Cousins in the SEC final and today we’ll continue with #3…38-1.
In the Calipari Era, there have been many amazing teams but there was no greater than the 2014-2015 squad. For the first time in the Calipari Era, they had players return like WCS, the Harrison Twins, Poythress, and Marcus Lee. Not only did they return, but they added the top recruiting class with Karl Anthony Towns, Devin Booker, Tyler Ulis, and Trey Lyles all of which are in the NBA now. This team was beautiful. They did a pre-season tournament in the Bahamas where Jay Bilas jokingly said “this may be your only loss so learn from it” and they did just that. They destroyed the #5 ranked Kansas by 32 points, UCLA by 39 (including a 41-7 lead at half), an 8-point win at #4 Louisville, and just ran their way through the SEC. “31-0 but we ain’t done yet.”
Then the NCAA tournament came. Kentucky destroyed Hampton, Cincinnati, and West Virginia but it caught up to them against Notre Dame where they need some last minute magic to make the Final Four. They got it done and it set up a rematch against Wisconsin in the Final Four where the infamous shot clock incident occurred. I’m still not over it and neither is KAT who has spoken on the matter before. Kentucky could have been and should have been the first ever 40-0 team after they would have obliterated Duke in the Finals.
You can relive some of the moments here, but this team was just special. They were so fun to watch and they were one of those teams that just clicked from the beginning. They platooned and did not get the playing time they wanted, but they sacrificed for one goal…winning. They bought into Calipari’s method and it was truly special. If they had won, it’d easily be the #1 moment but I think there are still better.