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Kentucky all-in on 40-0

By: John Galletley

It almost seems like John Calipari would prefer his team would have had a loss by now but at this point, the Wildcats can't afford to lose.

It almost seems like John Calipari would prefer his team would have had a loss by now but at this point, the Wildcats can’t afford to lose.

40-0 — it’s the mark of a perfect season and an all-time great NCAA basketball team. The Kentucky Wildcats have nine more wins to go after completing a 31-0 regular season. All that stands in their way are the SEC and NCAA Tournaments.

The goal of every college basketball team is to do what they can to put themselves in the best possible position to win a championship. Ultimately, despite how sweet it would be to finish undefeated, this is Kentucky’s primary goal. Now, they’re nearly in an all-or-nothing scenario. Normally, if a team gets a loss or two, they can learn from it and rebuild from it while getting the monkey and a lot of media off their back about the pursuit of perfection. Being undefeated basically becomes a distraction from the real goal of winning a championship.

That’s the monster the Kentucky Wildcats have unintentionally created.

While you can’t ask a team to throw a game in order to avoid the distraction, losing a game won’t kill a team. But for Kentucky, it’s too late now. Losing in the SEC Tournament can ruin Kentucky’s momentum going into the NCAA Tournament and a loss while dancing would obviously end their championship hopes.

Kentucky just has to hope that goose-egg on the one side of their record isn’t a distraction by the media and that it doesn’t get in the player’s heads. It can overshadow the main goal of cutting down the nets and get in the young student-athlete’s heads.

John Calipari and the players can say they’re working just as hard and doing what they normally do but there is no denying it’s always going to be in the back of their heads and going to put the extra pressure on them. The extra attention and constant reminder from the media doesn’t go away, especially not at this point in the season.

Plus, teams have put a target on Kentucky. Teams are already bringing their A-game in order to try to knock off Kentucky, but now they are bringing a little bit extra in hopes of trying to be the only team to beat them this year.

But at least the Wildcats have one thing going in their favor. They know what it takes to beat an undefeated team in the NCAA Tournament attempting to reach that 40-0 mark. Just last season Kentucky spoiled Wichita State season in the third round of the tournament. They know what are teams are putting themselves through and know how to defend against it.

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Want to talk sports? John Galletley is the man to go to. He has been following sports of all kinds since he was a child but had a first love for baseball being in a family of Yankees fans. He also loves to travel and has used sports in order to do this including taking several road trips to MLB stadiums and other sports venues. John has always dreamed of working in the sports world and wants to make his way there as a writer in order to follow the philosophy of never working a day in your life if you love what you do.

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