The Kentucky Wildcats have been a staple of March Insanity for fairly a very long time. No program in NCAA historical past has extra NCAA Match appearances than them.
However in 2021, Kentucky is not going to be enjoying within the NCAA Match.
Kentucky put collectively one among their worst seasons in program historical past in 2020-21, as they logged their fewest win complete in practically a century. In the meantime, John Calipari did not win double-digit video games for the primary time in his profession.
Here is a glance again at Kentucky’s season and simply how uncommon it has been for them to be this far outdoors the NCAA Match bubble.
When is the final time Kentucky missed the NCAA Match?
Kentucky final missed the NCAA Match in 2013. In the course of the 2012-13 faculty basketball marketing campaign, Kentucky posted a 21-12 file and 12-6 within the SEC that 12 months. That put them in a three-way tie for second place within the SEC, nevertheless it wasn’t sufficient to get them to the NCAA Match.
A part of Kentucky’s demise was associated to late-season struggles, as they went 5-5 of their final 10 video games earlier than March Insanity. That included a 64-48 loss to Vanderbilt within the quarterfinals of the SEC Match. Because of this, Kentucky wasn’t in a position to make it into the ultimate bracket and as an alternative accepted an invite to the NIT, the place they misplaced within the first spherical to Robert Morris College.
It is uncommon for Kentucky to overlook the NCAA Match. Since 1992, the workforce has certified for the event 26 occasions in 29 possibilities. They’ve been to the NCAA Match a file 58 occasions, eight greater than the second-place North Carolina Tar Heels.
Kentucky basketball file 2020-21
Kentucky’s file in the course of the 2020-21 season was 9-16. Their 9 wins are the workforce’s fewest because the 1926-27 season when the workforce posted a 3-13 file within the Southern Convention, and their 0.36 successful share is the bottom since that point as properly.
The Wildcats began the season with a 1-6 file, dropping six consecutive video games after an opening-night victory over Morehead State. They may by no means fairly get on observe after that.
Timeline of Kentucky’s 2020-21 season
Kentucky began the season with a 1-6 file, and issues weren’t going easily for the workforce. Amid their powerful begin, coach John Calipari criticized himself for placing collectively a “dumb” schedule
“Pay attention, we must always’ve performed video games up entrance that we had an opportunity to win, 4 or 5 of them after which performed 4 or 5 of the others,” Calipari mentioned, per Forbes’ Adam Zagoria. “Not eight onerous video games and we’ve nonetheless obtained Texas left who’s like tenth within the nation.”
From there, Calipari tried pulling quite a few strings, however most both did not work or backfired. Early on, he suspended freshman Cam’Ron Fletcher for his outburst on the bench throughout a loss and criticized him for being immature. Fletcher would later return to the workforce, however Calipari drew scrutiny for his choice to droop Fletcher, who instantly apologized for the outburst.
Calipari obtained ejected in Kentucky’s eighth recreation of the season in opposition to Mississippi State. Whereas his ejection fired up his workforce to win that recreation and kickstart a three-game successful streak, the impression did not final long-term. Kentucky dropped three straight after their successful streak and that led Calipari to precise his frustration.
“I’m at this level a little bit pissed off as a result of I can’t consider we’re not higher, one as a workforce, and particular person gamers aren’t higher,” Calipari mentioned, per Nick Rousch of KentuckySportsRadio.com.
Past their incapability to click on, Kentucky handled key accidents to Terrence Clarke and Keion Brooks, who mixed to play in simply 22 video games. Each had been double-digit scorers, so their presence was missed on the offensive facet of the ball. The workforce additionally had two COVID cancellations and postponements, in order that put some bumps into their schedule.
The Wildcats formally had been assured to overlook the NCAA Match once they had been eradicated from the SEC Match within the first spherical. They misplaced to the No. 9 seed Mississippi State, however would’ve needed to win the SEC Match to have any shot at making it into March Insanity. As an alternative, they will sit up for subsequent season and goal to enhance on their poor 9-16 file.