A pattern is developing for the Kentucky basketball program, and it’s not pretty.
For the third consecutive NCAA Tournament, the Wildcats were home for good before the first weekend of March Madness was finished. And for the third consecutive offseason, UK Coach John Calipari will have a longer-than-usual wait between games, with plenty of questions over the direction of his program and the outlook for the team’s future.
Two seasons after a disastrous 9-16 record and one season removed from the stunning first-round loss to 15-seeded Saint Peter’s, the Cats started the 2022-23 campaign ranked No. 4 in the country with seemingly realistic goals of a national championship. And while UK finally won an NCAA Tournament game — the first such victory in four years — the Wildcats once again came up short in March, losing in the second round to Kansas State to cap a season that can only be described as disappointing.
Calipari once again has a longer-than-anticipated offseason to figure that out. UK does have the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class coming in, but recent years have shown that group won’t guarantee the kind of success that Kentucky fans demand.