Kentucky basketball: Killing college hoops?


Even if you don’t know a single thing about college basketball, you still know that Kentucky is undefeated, are the best team college hoops has seen in decades, maybe even longer, and are the shoe-in for the national championship.

I remember during the 2012 tournament – the Anthony Davis year – I kept thinking to myself that the Cats were bound to slip up at some point. They were “too good for their own good,” I kept telling myself, as well as my friends who are UK supporters. (Okay, most of that was to irk them, but I thought they’d fall in the late rounds of the tournament in a similar fashion in which they did in Indiana earlier in the season.)

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But, no such thing happened, as they won the ‘Ship in New Orleans, sparking quite the run for the state – starting with that championship game, everyone since has featured a team from the Bluegrass (of course, Louisville winning it all in 2013 and UK falling to UConn last year). It looks like it’ll be a sure thing again this year, so mark it up four in a row. Essentially, Kentucky, as a state, is to basketball what the state of Alabama was in the final half decade of the BCS era.

And, while many ’round these parts are enjoying the flourishing and success of the Wildcats, others don’t. And the criticism is coming from an unlikely source; Rolling Stone.

In this piece on, Michael Weinreb throws around some big words, and much like you would assume with an article from a traditional non-sports publication, it gets unnecessarily political at some points. I’ll let you read it for yourself, because you might see it in a different light than I do, but Weinreb does get to the point when he says this:

"Part of the angst about Kentucky’s dominance has nothing to do with the Wildcats themselves, or with Calipari’s methods; part of the problem is that Kentucky has found a way to dominate in an era when college basketball itself is mired in sluggish and largely unwatchable play."

Kentucky Wildcats
Kentucky Wildcats /

Kentucky Wildcats

Weinreb does go on to say that he doesn’t think Kentucky’s dominance and college basketball’s current era go hand in and, and that he’d “rather watch a game between two very good mid-major teams that feels wholly like college sports,” so I’m assuming he really enjoyed the WKU/Old Dominion game early in the conference season.

As many do – and quite frankly, I think should – Weinreb points to the one-and-done rule as a major credit to Kentucky’s success and discredit to the sport as a whole. He sums up his article with a fair point:

"It’s possible that the best thing for college basketball would be an undefeated Kentucky team. It’s possible that the Wildcats going undefeated would force an open debate about the future of the sport itself and the future of college athletics, and inspire us to find a sensible middle ground between commercialism and education (if there is such a thing)."

Will Kentucky’s dominance this season result to the discontinuance of the one-and-done era? I’m not sure, most likely not, but for some it’s fun to think about I suppose.

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The one thing that


strike me in the piece, though, was when Weinreb shed some light on the Cats’ team stats, and said that the leading scorers on the team (being

Devin Booker


Aaron Harrison

) are averaging 11 points a game, and the Cats are


putting up the offensive numbers they have up, is real impressive. It also puts this tweet I saw earlier today into greater perspective.

So, you convince me, is Kentucky basketball good or bad for college basketball? Let me know in a comment below or on twitter @BlueGrassDom.