The Kentucky Wildcats are one of the best basketball programs in the nation. They have had a winning tradition that rivals almost every team in the nation. The team has had more success in the NCAA tournament than just about every team in the nation.
The Wildcats have been around for a long time, but things really started off for them in the 1940s. The team was led by Adolph Rupp. Rupp is known as being one of the greatest coaches in the history of men’s basketball. This is because of all of the success that he had for the team. Rupp coached the team for more than 40 years and led his team to a lot of success.
The 1940s brought the first bit of that success on the grand scale. The team managed to make their way all the way to the NCAA Championship game in the 1948. Previous to that point the team had made its way to the final 4 before, but they had never managed to advance all the way to the finals. The team really showed up to play that night and managed to take him their first NCAA Tournament championship.
Things would not end for the Wildcats there though. Rupp had a great team to coach and he was a legend. He managed to get his team ready to go again the next season. In 1949 the team showed dominance throughout the season. The team found themselves back in the NCAA Tournament.
Once the tournament came around the team started to work hard and beat their opponents. At the end of the line the team found themselves in the NCAA Tournament Championship again. The team worked their way to another NCAA Championship that season.
The team did not manage to find the same success in 1950, but did return to glory in 1951. That season the team managed to win yet another NCAA Tournament Championship. The Wildcats had become the most dominant team in the nation by that point.
During Rupp’s tenure the team managed to win 4 NCAA Tournaments and also the NIT tournament in 1946. The team was truly as good as it could have been during that time period.
The team was later led by Joe B. Hall. Hall stepped in a quickly found success. In his time as the head coach he managed to add another NCAA Tournament Championship banner to the rafters in Kentucky. He was a great coach, but he struggled to get out of the shadows of Adolph Rupp.
The next truly great coach for the Wildcats was Rick Pitino. Pitino had the attitude and spirit to get the Wildcats playing at a high level. He fielded a team that had as much talent as any. He managed to take the team to the finals of the NCAA tournament 2 years in a row and set the team up for success in the year that he left the squad.