Following a flawless regular season of 31 wins without a hiccup, the Kentucky Wildcats have a potential nine games to complete the Path to Perfection.
Sports Illustrated asked if Kentucky’s one-and-done format is killing college basketball.
One Kentucky media member claims that Calipari privately revels in the misery of other coaches, most notably the recently admonished Jim Boeheim, a vocal critic of Cal. But most coaches have each others’ backs, as Calipari illustrated in 2013 when he appeared at the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame during the weekend induction of his arch rival Rick Pitino.
Calipari wasn’t there for Pitino’s induction ceremony, but made the rounds of events the night before. That’s wily politicking. Unspoken affirmation. A rite of passage for future inductees. Well played.
A seemingly inevitable second national championship for Calipari with this Kentucky team will tie Pitino’s title count. They’ve both taken three schools to Final Four weekend, but Calipari’s trips with UMass and Memphis were vacated by athlete missteps. Awkward interviews ensued.
There is abundant joy in Kentucky as only 9 steps remain to an unprecedented 40 and zero perfect season. Calipari says the NBA Draft Day determines his ultimate reward.
It’s Cal’s way to slide around the obvious answer. Calipari’s ultimate joy will come with his induction into that same Hall of Fame in Massachusetts where so much joy was vacated twenty years ago.
Once a career plants a flag on the mountaintop, there is no loser edit. Not even for 2003 national championship coach Jim Boeheim.
No one will steal Cal’s joy, nor will anyone dare to block his path to the Hall of Fame.
Kentucky fans, meanwhile, are bathing in the glory of one of the most incredible runs in the program’s storied history, where perpetual perfection is on demand.