The Kentucky Wildcats are college basketball royalty. Nobody can argue with their success in the sport. Nobody but one team that is. And that team is the UCLA Bruins. UK has won the NCAA Tournament eight times in school history. That is more than any other school except for one. UCLA has 11 NCAA Tournament titles.
But UCLA’s titles were mostly won in a 12-year stretch in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Since 1975, UCLA has won the NCAA Tournament one time. That was in 1995. Since 1975 Kentucky has won it four times. So UK fans think they can dismiss UCLA as a ‘has-been” program and that int’s only a matter of time until they get to #12 and overtake the Bruins.
Oh sure, the Bruins came close a few times under Ben Howland, making three final four trips in a row from 2006 to 2008. But that’s over now. But, UCLA beat Kentucky last season in Westwood. Of course, neight team got anywhere near the Final Four a season ago. This season, the Bruins had to come to Rupp. This season, both teams can realistically think about Final Fours and cutting down nets. The Cats would show the Bruins who was the real kings of college basketball, right?
Wrong. Up until the UCLA game this past Sunday, Kentucky fans and haters were all thinking the Cats had a shot at going undefeated this year. They were not just winning games, but they were making it look like a walk on the beach. Kentucky was shattering records with 100+ point games. They have a back court of De’Aron Fox and Malik Monk who are coming to an NBA arena near you next season. This team is supremely talented. But now, there is a reason to watch the rest of the season. Unlike the Alabama Crimson Tide football team who is steamrolling the sport on their way to their 100th national championship in a row or something like that, Kentucky may be beatable. UK could still win it all and it would shock nobody, but now at least we have some doubt.
But in any case, UCLA can still claim they are the kings of college basketball. Kentucky fans have no leg to stand on. UCLA has more championships and for two years in a row they put the Cats in their place.