2012 -- what a year. It will go down as a very memorable one in Kentucky Wildcats history for all sorts of good reasons, and I'm going to enumerate some of the highlights in here. I am definitely not going to get them all, so please feel free to add any omissions in the comments. None of them is intentional, but I don't plan to use my New Years' Eve to sit and do nothing but research. Sorry, I'm still on vacation.
Anyway, let's get going, shall we?
- National championship #8 in New Orleans for men's basketball. If that were the only superlative, it would be enough to make it a great year.
- Consensus player of the year in Anthony Davis, along with our 2nd #1 NBA draft pick ... Anthony Davis.
- Kentucky beat Louisville in men's basketball twice in the same season for the second time since the modern renewal of the series, something Louisville has never done.
- Record 19th UCA cheerleading championship. Yes, along with basketball, this is what we are legendary for, and 2012 was no exception.
- Baseball had the most wins (45) and best finish in the SEC and NCAA tournament in school history and was ranked by Baseball America for 13 straight weeks, another school record. UK was also ranked #1 in the nation for 3 weeks, another school first.
- The UK Rifle Team won the NCAA championship in smallbore and second in air rifle.
- UK men's soccer hosted just their second NCAA tournament game in history, and earned their first NCAA tournament berth in nine years.
- Men's tennis won the SEC title with a perfect 11-0 record. This was only the second time in history Kentucky claimed the SEC title, and the Wildcats made it to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA's for only the second time in history.
- UK Women's basketball made it to the Elite Eight and wound up the season #12 in the AP poll, the highest in program history.
- John Calipari, Matthew Mitchell and Gary Henderson all won SEC Coach of the Year honors in 2012.
- Kentucky gymnastics finished 2012 ranked 25th in the nation, their third consecutive top-25 finish
- Women's soccer won its first NCAA tournament game in history, and was selected to host a first-round NCAA Tournament game for the second straight year.
- Softball went to the NCAA tournament for a program-record fourth consecutive time.
- Volleyball finished the season with a Sweet 16 appearance, their second in a row and wound up ranked #20 in the nation, the 4th time in the last 5 years UK has finished the season ranked in the top 25.
- Kentucky finished last year ranked 29th in the Director's Cup.
This has been a wonderful year for Kentucky athletics, and the Big Blue Nation has a lot to be thankful for. Here's what I'm hoping for in 2013, and all of these are possible:
- A minimum of an Elite Eight finish for men's basketball;
- A Final Four for women's basketball;
- Six wins for Kentucky football. I know some of you will laugh at this, but we have significant talent coming back and I just have a good feeling about Mark Stoops and his staff;
- A sweep of NCAA titles for smallbore and air rifle;
- A trip to Omaha and the College Baseball World Series for the Bat Cats;
- An Elite Eight for the Volleyball team;
- Two or more wins in the NCAA Tournament for men and women's soccer;
- Another cheerleading championship. I like even numbers, and 20 sounds nice;
- An NCAA appearance for the Tennis team;
- An NCAA appearance for both men and women's golf;
- A top 15 ranking for the Gym Cats;
- A top 10 for the Volleyball team and an Elite Eight finish.
Let me know anything I left out, and add your comments below. Also, please treat this as an open thread for any sports-related news and-or commentary.