2015 vs. 2012 Kentucky (03/16/15)

By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
2015 Kentucky vs. 2012 Kentucky championship team.



Is Kentucky the best college basketball team in NCAA history?

Perhaps.

The Wildcats are 34-0. Kentucky easily won the SEC Tournament and John Calipari's team is poised to capture the program's ninth championship. Kentucky is 44% likely to win the NCAA Tournament.

There doesn't appear to be any true challengers to the Wildcats, Kentucky is the most dominant team we have ever simulated in the NCAA Tournament. Coach Cal's team may win the Big Dance but before we crown them the best ever, how does this year's squad compare to Kentucky's 2012 championship team?

The 2012 National Championship team went 38-2. The 2012 Wildcats won 38 games by an average of 16.8 points per game. They held their opponents to 37.4% shootings and the 38 wins is the most all-time in a single season. The Wildcats never trailed in the second half during the NCAA Tournament and won each game by an average of ten points.

John Calipari's first championship team featured notable players Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Doron Lamb and Terrence Jones. Following the title, six players from this team were selected in the 2012 NBA Draft.

After 50,000 simulations, on a neutral court, the 2015 Cats win 50.7% of the time by an average score of 63.0 to 62.4.

The 2015 team has beat all comers by 20.9 points on average, held opponents to 35.2% shooting and is twice as likely to win the NCAA Tournament as the 2012 team.

The 2015 team hasn't won the championship, yet, but 2015 Kentucky would beat the title team from 2012. Historically, this puts the 2015 Kentucky team among the best ever. We ranked the 2012 Kentucky team as the sixth best NCAA Men's Basketball Champion of all-time.

One more simulation..

National titles are great but a team could be one of the best all-time without surviving March Madness. The 2010 Kentucky Wildcats are one of the most talented teams to not win it all.

John Calipari assembled an incredible lineup in his second year at Kentucky. A few of the standout players included John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Bledsoe and Patrick Patterson.

In a simulation of the 2015 team vs. the 2010 team, this year's Wildcats win 55.8% of the time by an average score of 70.1 to 66.8.

The 2009-10 team is the best offensive team among these three Kentucky squads. However, the 2015 and 2012 teams were better defensively. This year's team may be the best defensive team we have seen in the last 40 years in college basketball.