#1 2140 (29-11)
#2 2126 (25-10)
#3 2114 (24-10)
For most of this regular season, it looked like the Kansas Jayhawks would take a big bite out of the Kentucky Wildcats lead in most NCAA Basketball wins. Then the calendar turned to March and the Jayhawks saw an early exit and Kentucky rode their freshmen to the NCAA Championship game. The net result was that Kentucky picked up four games on Kansas and five games on North Carolina in this category.
There is not going to be a lot of change next year in this race as Kentucky has a pretty comfortable fourteen game lead over the Jayhawks and Kansas has a 12 game separation on North Carolina. But as the season ends, we have to look at what has happened in the five years since John Calipari came to Kentucky.
When the 2009-2010 season started, Kentucky had a very tenuous four game lead on North Carolina. Here is how this list stood a mere five years ago.
1. KENTUCKY – 1988
2. NORTH CAROLINA – 1984
3. KANSAS – 1970
Kansas has picked up four games in five seasons, but North Carolina has dropped a whopping 22 wins behind UK in that span. In the end, we have to thank this years NCAA run. Kansas gained ten games last year and had narrowed the gap to ten but that final push was much-needed.
Also in that time span, Kentucky has won a title, been to three Final Fours and an Elite Eight. Kansas has been to a Final Four and an Elite Eight, while UNC has been to two Elite Eights. Kentucky does play both teams this year so it should be interesting. Kansas has lost a lot of firepower, but if Kentucky can get some of their freshmen to stay, they may be able to pick up ground on both teams.