March Madness gets all the attention, but April is the most important month on the Kentucky basketball calendar.
For starters, UK has played into April in three of the last four seasons, twice advancing to the national championship game and once winning the whole thing. To cap it off, April is when underclassmen make their NBA Draft decisions.
The early-entry deadline has become a celebration of sorts at UK, a time for fans to look back on a successful season and wish the best to the players who made it happen as they move on to the next level.
This year, April went a little differently.
A week after the Wildcats came up a win shy of a title, Willie Cauley-Stein surprised everyone – including his coach – and announced he would return for his junior season. Four days later, Marcus Lee followed suit. The next week, Dakari Johnson, Alex Poythress and the Harrison twins all decided they would come back, too.