4 Reasons Kentucky Wildcats Are Favorites to Repeat as Champs
The Kentucky Wildcats wrapped up the 2011-12 NCAA season by beating the Kansas Jayhwaks 67-59. With that star-studded lineup, John Calipari and his team were crowned the last men standing and the champions of college basketball.
Would it be soon or too risky to say they'll win it all again next season?
Kentucky comes from and continues to build a rich history of winning. Playing in 52 March Madness tournaments, 11 championship game appearances, and eight championship victories, the numbers speak for themselves.
The Wildcats had a tremendous 2011-12 season, and should pick up from where they left off next year.
Here are four reasons why Kentucky should be favored to repeat.
Kentucky will lose Anthony Davis, Terrence Jones, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and other stars to the NBA next season. Even after all their achievements, the Wildcats already have a promising group of recruits capable of duplicating last season's success.
All seem to be able to make an impact right away, but the majority of the buzz surrounds Noel, an athletic center with an impressive haircut, and superstar potential.
The Wildcats lost out in the Shabazz Muhammad sweepstakes, but this upcoming group of recruits makes Kentucky a dangerous contender.
Regardless of the "cheater" label that's been placed on John Calipari, the man continues to bring in top-tier talent and succeed.
This 2012 recruiting class is just another example of such.
2. Calipari Finally Got His First
This past season, John Calipari finally lifted the stressful weight of no championship victories.
It's not a guarantee that he and the Wildcats will return to the promise land, but the path to a successful career gets a bit easier after lifting that monkey off your back.
As the defending champs, Kentucky will get everyone's best shot next season. Champions always earn a target on their back the following year, and teams look to make an example out of them.
However, after finally winning that first title, Calipari is able to stop wondering about when the first will come and can now just coach his team.
Calipari always brings the best out of his team.
After finally reaching the top of the mountain, it's only right to assume the Kentucky head coach wants to continue his winning ways and bring home another trophy.
3. Weak SEC
Last season, Kentucky steamrolled through the SEC with only one loss in the conference to Vanderbilt.
History should certainly repeat itself next season for the Wildcats.
Outside of Kentucky, the Southeastern Conference is likely to lose lots of it's star players to the NBA (Bradley Beal, Arnett Moultrie, Jeffery Taylor, John Jenkins). These were some of the best players in the country, and will be a huge loss as the SEC will look to rebuild some of it's teams.
To no surprise, the Wildcats are one of the top recruiting teams in the country while other SEC teams are losing out on the top talent available.
As long as Calipari continues to recruit strong, the SEC will continue to struggle to keep pace with Kentucky.
4. Calipari Teams Just Win
Whether it's Massachusetts in 1995-96, Memphis in 2007-08, or Kentucky last season, Calipari knows what it takes to win, and he brings that winning attitude everywhere he goes.
Calipari already is one of the best motivators in college basketball. That winning pedigree can only get bigger after years of successful seasons, and finally winning that first NCAA title.
After watching the 2011-12 Kentucky Wildcats triumph as March Madness champions, you have to believe the new 2012-13 Wildcats are driven to win a title of their own.
Winning has become contagious in every locker room Calipari enters. He knows what it takes to win, and it only makes life easier when playing with a high-quality roster.
It will not be an easy road to repeating for Calipari and the Wildcats, but it's almost impossible not favoring this team going into the 2012-13 season.