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Kentucky Basketball: John Calipari Admits Kentucky Would Probably Have Been Better Off Losing A Game Before NCAA Tournament

Is it better to lose at least one game before the NCAA Tournament than carry the burden of an undefeated record into it? 

That was a popular debate for much of the 2014-15 men's college basketball season, as Kentucky rode through the regular season and SEC Tournament unscathed. 

John Calipari dismissed most of the "you'd be better off losing at least once" talk during the season, but now that he's had time to reflect on the 38-1 season that ended in the Final Four, he's changed his stance. 

">June 2, 2015

From Dan Wetzel's report:

"Now that I have gone through it with that team, we would have probably been better to lose a game," Calipari acknowledged. "Now that being said, if I am ever in that position again, we're trying to win every game. I don't even care. We were chasing history. And we made history, 38 wins is the most ever, the record is the best ever, so we fell short of generational history, but chasing…

"Looking back, a loss probably would've done us some good. Maybe in the conference tournament, which is what happened to us in 2012 [at UK]. We end up winning the national title.

"I can remember at UMass when we lost to [George Washington] at home [ending a 26-0 start to the season], my entire team and staff went, 'Whew,' " Calipari said. "I just never felt it with this team, but I think it was probably there. Some of them talked about it after, so I probably misread it a little bit.

"We just never discussed it because I thought we were fine."

He's probably right. Would Kentucky have beat Wisconsin (and then Duke) if it had lost a game in the regular season? Maybe not. But it's impossible for an undefeated season to not take at least a little bit out of a team.