How this UK team stacks up
The experience of past Calipari units isn't there, but what about the talent?
Defending a national championship is hard. The Florida Gators did so quite successfully in 2007, of course, winning a second consecutive national title. But let's not forget that the ensuing group of Gators also had to defend a title, and that 2007-08 team went to the NIT. The same destination awaited the North Carolina Tar Heels in 2010 one year after winning it all.
In fact, since Florida cut down the nets in 2007, no team defending a national title has made it past the Sweet 16. Call it the curse of the defending champions.
Which brings me to the Kentucky Wildcats in 2012-13. Can the Wildcats break this curse? Absolutely, but let's not minimize the obstacles they'll face.
To read the rest of John Gasaway's story on how this season's Kentucky team compares to past UK units, become an Insider today.
MORE MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL HEADLINES
- Arizona holds Oregon St. to 34 points in rout
- No. 4 Duke dismisses junior guard Sulaimon
- St. John's guard sorry for offensive tweet
- McCain: Time to talk legalizing sports betting
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
Insider CBB content
• Greenberg/Telep: Kansas Jayhawks
• Greenberg/Finkelstein: Marquette
• Gasaway/Rankin: Indiana Hoosiers
• Gasaway/Rankin: Michigan Wolverines
• Gasaway/Rankin: Ohio State Buckeyes
• Greenberg/Finkelstein: Memphis Tigers
• Gasaway/Rankin: Florida Gators
• Greenberg/Telep: Kentucky Wildcats
• Gasaway/Finkelstein: Louisville Cardinals
• Gasaway/Finkelstein: Syracuse Orange
• Greenberg/Biancardi: NC State Wolfpack
• Biancardi/Gasaway: Duke Blue Devils
• Biancardi/Gasaway: North Carolina Tar Heels
• Biancardi/Gasaway: Arizona Wildcats
• Greenberg/Telep: UCLA Bruins
• Gasaway: Breakout second-year coaches
• Lunardi: Could Louisville repeat as champs?
• Greenberg: UVA tops list of surprise teams
• Fraschilla: How returning stars can improve
• Gasaway: Top title challengers to Kentucky
• Lunardi: Who will earn No. 1 seeds in 2014?
• Telep: Latest on No. 13 junior Theo Pinson
• Rankin: What Wiggins means for Kansas
• Biancardi: KU to prep Wiggins for NBA success
• Telep: Updated look at top recruits
• Roundtable: Most impressive on AAU circuit?
• Ford: NBA draft lottery preview
• Ford: Winners from the NBA draft combine
• Fraschilla: Burke the draft's top point guard?
• Ford: Measurements concern some GMs
• Ford: Why Wiggins would go No. 1 in 2013
Jay Bilas Blog
Jay's take on latest from around the nation
Analysis from Fraschilla, Greenberg and Lunardi
Get news and rumblings before anyone
Hollinger's College PER
College basketball's top players
Get wagering advice for every game