Heading into the 2013-14 men’s college basketball season, an overly optimistic and somewhat delusional Kentucky fan created 40and0.com, thinking the Wildcats were going to go undefeated. There were “40-0” T-shirts and everything.
Kentucky lost its third game last season, a 78-74 defeat to Michigan State. The Wildcats went on to fall nine more times before losing to Connecticut in the national championship contest, ending the year with 11 losses. John Calipari’s team was closer to losing 20 games than it was to losing none.
It’s very, very, very tough to go undefeated in today’s men’s college basketball world. No team has done it since the 1975-76 Indiana Hoosiers, who went 32-0.
Reid Forgrave, though, says the 2014-15 Kentucky Wildcats have a “real shot” to go 40-0 this season.
Call me a troll. Say it’s silly to even mention. But I believe this: As much as anyone, KY can get 40-0 Holy Grail. http://t.co/NRQg9SfCIX
— Reid Forgrave (@ReidForgrave) October 17, 2014
Forgrave, in his column:
This Kentucky team has a shot – a real, honest-to-goodness, not-just-a-scalding-hot-take-but-I’m-being-serious-here shot – at being the first Division I basketball team to go undefeated in nearly four decades.
This talented, versatile and – yikes – experienced Kentucky team has as good of a shot at going undefeated as any team since … well, since Calipari’s two-loss, title-winning Kentucky team from three seasons ago.
Forgrave’s reasoning for thinking Kentucky has a chance to go undefeated is similar that of the 24 coaches who voted the Wildcats No. 1 in USA Today’s preseason coaches poll.
John Calipari’s squad is loaded — as loaded as possibly any college basketball team, ever. The Wildcats brought back Andrew and Aaron Harrison, Alex Poythress, Dakari Johnson, Marcus Lee, Willie Cauley-Stein and others from its national runner-up 2013-14 team. Their incoming freshman class was ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 by nearly every recruiting service. There are at least eight future NBA Draft picks who will play for Kentucky this season. The team is so deep that Calipari is considering using a platoon system in which he basically has two starting fives.
Can it go undefeated, though?
Probably not, but it’s not that crazy to think the most talented college basketball team in recent memory could win all of its games.
Looking at the schedule, Kentucky’s toughest games are likely:
- Nov. 18 vs. Kansas
- Dec. 5 vs. Texas
- Dec. 13 vs. North Carolina
- Dec. 27 vs. Louisville
- Feb. 7 at Florida
Will one (or more) of those games result in a Kentucky loss? Will the Wildcats be upset by an unseen tough opponent?
We’ll find out.
Kentucky opens the 2014-15 season Nov. 14 vs. Grand Canyon.