College basketball rankings, grades: Kentucky gets ‘F’, Arizona gets ‘A+’ on weekly report card

USATSI

From 2009-2017, John Calipari and Kentucky were as dynamic and dominant as any duo in college hoops. In that span Kentucky had more wins than any team in the game and a 249–53 overall record with five SEC regular seasons, five SEC Tournament titles, four Final Four appearances, one national runner-up and an NCAA championship.

The last six seasons and change since then have been anything but impressive.

By typical college program standards, Kentucky has been pretty good since the start of 2017, with 132 wins in that span — 18th most among all men’s basketball teams. But Kentucky is not A typical college basketball program and its fans, fair or not not The usual fan expectations. Fewer wins than Texas Tech and Auburn since 2017 is not the norm.

Ultimately, win totals matter a lot less if you’re producing in the postseason, but even that has been rare of late. Kentucky has had zero Final Four appearances since 2015, and a steady crescendo of March Madness embarrassments in recent years has escalated things. Under most circumstances, the coach could be excused by Big Blue, but not now after back-to-back disappointing postseason finishes in 2022 and 2023 — one that ended with a loss to 15-seed St. Peter’s and another (a second-round loss to Providence) that His second consecutive NCAA tournament streak extended to three seasons. (Both of which, by the way, preceded a 9-16 nightmare season.)

Saturday’s loss to UK’s Gonzaga at home felt like another low point in what has been a slow spiral of sadness in Lexington. It was historic to boot, as it gave Kentucky its first three-game losing streak since before Rupp Arena was built in the late 1960s. Fittingly, Kentucky is the focus of our weekly report card this week. — The predictable ‘F’ is on its way. The Wildcats still have future NBA talent to catch lightning in a bottle and make a run in March, but they haven’t performed like one of the game’s most talented teams this season, and another disappointing tourney exit looks imminent at this point.

The rest of this week’s grades are below. As usual, grades are given based on the week running Monday-Sunday.

College basketball grades: This week’s report card

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *