Recruit. Rebuild. Win. Repeat. It’s a vicious cycle in college basketball, but one that Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari seems to have mastered.
Calipari won his first (and the school’s eighth) NCAA championship as a head coach in 2012, then lost six players to the NBA Draft. The following season, UK missed the NCAA Tournament entirely. In 2014, a young Wildcats team got it together in the postseason and reached the championship game as a No. 8 seed. This season, with few NBA defections and stars Aaron and Andrew Harrison, Willie Cauley-Stein, and Dakari Johnson returning, UK again has a team expected to still be standing in April. Then Calipari will have his next recruiting class ready to make another run in 2017.
The 2015 NCAA Tournament field is announced Sunday, March 15, at 6pm ET on CBS during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Selection Show. The First Four play-in games are March 17-18 in Dayton, Ohio, and then the real action starts around the country on March 19. The Final Four will again be aired simultaneously on TBS, TNT and truTV. Some viewers were confused (Charles Barkley called them “idiots”) by the Final Four TeamCasts tailored to each team’s fans, and wondered why the announcers sounded particularly biased. Hopefully, that will be cleared up this time around. CBS will again air the championship game. There’s been a shakeup in the lead CBS broadcast booth, as Jim Nantz will now be joined by analysts Bill Raftery and Grant Hill. Previous analyst Greg Anthony got himself into some trouble.
In last year’s tournament, No. 7 seed Connecticut beat Kentucky in the championship game. The Lady Huskies completed UConn’s college hoops sweep a day later by winning the women’s tournament.
2015 NCAA Tournament Schedule At A Glance
Selection Sunday 2015 March 15 (CBS)
First Four March 17-18 (truTV)
Second Round March 19-20 (CBS, TBS, TNT & truTV)
Third Round March 21-22 (CBS, TBS, TNT & truTV)
Regionals March 26-29 (CBS & TBS)
Final Four April 4 (TBS, TNT & truTV)
Championship Game April 6 (CBS)