Kentucky Basketball has many superlatives associated with it: first school to 2000 victories, 7 national titles, 14 Final Fours, highest winning percentage in D1, etc. But the other day I wondered if Kentucky had truly conquered the nation as a whole: did the Cats own a victory against a school in every state in the country?
Fortunately, thanks to the absolute greatest Kentucky resource ever - Jon Scott's Kentucky Basketball Page - this question is quite easy to answer. The answer is "no", but reading through the list of opponents by state led me to wonder: does UK hold a winning record against every state that they've played a D1 school from? So what follows is a breakdown of how UK has performed against D1 schools grouped by state.
For simplicity I've only counted games against schools which are currently in Division 1. All games against the school are counted regardless of the actual location of the game. For example, against the state of Tennessee all games against UT and Vanderbilt are counted, even the ones that came in Rupp or at the SEC Tournament.
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- UK has never played a school from North Dakota or Vermont. They have played Alaska-Anchorage five times, but it is not a D1 school (there are no D1 schools in Alaska).
- Kentucky has a winning record against all other states except Connecticut (0.500). The District of Columbia is also 0.500 against the Cats.
- Most of the states that UK is perfect against only involve 1 or 2 games, but the states of Oregon (7-0) and Washington (5-0) have failed in 12 combined contests to beat the Cats.
- Within the state of Kentucky, Georgetown College (my alma mater!) has more wins against the Cats than Louisville does (15 to 14). I find this amusing for some reason. The last win by the Tigers came in 1927, but still.
Here's how UK's schedule this year looks like based on which states the schools are located in. The shading has been retained to reflect UK's current record against each state.
Calipari has overseen the restoration of the program and with a bit of luck will get banner #8 this year. I think his next priority is pretty clear: get Vermont and either North Dakota or North Dakota St on the schedule next season!