Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past several weeks then you’ve probably heard of ESPN’s documentary of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.
Most likely you’ve even watched one of the first 4 episodes for yourself. At a time when sports is at a standstill, the series titled “The Last Dance,” has been a welcomed surge of excitement looking back on one of the most influential people of all-time. Releasing it early made perfect sense considering a large portion of the United States is at home filling time in front of the television.
Furthermore, basketball fans know that access to Michael Jordan is somewhat of a rarity. Even when he does speak to the public the substance doesn’t go anywhere near as deep as the documentary does. The Last Dance is a behind the scenes look at one of the most dominant dynasties in the history of sports.
Rob Dauster of NBC Sports must have been inspired while watching because he decided to create a list of other basketball teams that he deems worthy of a similar “Last Dance” style documentary.
It wasn’t shocking to find the list littered with University of Kentucky teams from different eras. Three times to be exact. You can see the full 12 team breakdown here.
There is no doubt that formulating a list like this, and publishing it, is no easy task. I appreciate Rob Dauster for giving it a go and releasing his top ten because there is unlimited directions that one could go with this.
First on the list was the 1990-1991 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels. College basketball may never see anything like the short-lived takeover of UNLV basketball and with the polarizing figures on that team there is a legitimate argument to be made for placing it atop the list.
From there UK was mentioned three different times. .
12. KENTUCKY, 2008-09
There are some absolutely insane stories floating around the college basketball world from Billy Gillespie’s time in Lexington. Some of them have been told. Many more have not. And all of them would make for absolutely phenomenal television, all the way up until the moment he, quite literally, ran away from reporters while pretending to be on the phone when he was fired.
I’m all in.
9. KENTUCKY, 1995-96
There are some people that will tell you that the 1996 Kentucky Wildcats — The Untouchables — were the single greatest college basketball team ever assembled. There were six first round picks on the roster (Ron Mercer, Walter McCarty, Antoine Walker, Tony Delk, Nazr Mohammed and Derek Anderson), a seventh second round pick (Mark Pope) and two more guys (Wayne Turner, Jeff Sheppard) that had cups of coffee in the NBA. They were coached by one of the greatest to ever do it in Rick Pitino. They went 34-2 on the season, losing to UMass — who was coached by John Calipari — in November before getting their revenge in the Final Four, and to Mississippi State — another Final Four team — in the SEC title game.
4. KENTUCKY, 2013-14
There are plenty of options for the John Calipari era in Lexington, but for me, 2014 takes the cake.
Not only was this team touted as the best recruiting class of all-time, but they were expected to go 40-0 and cruise to a national title. Instead, the likes of Julius Randle, Willie Cauley-Stein and the Harrison twins went 22-9 in the regular season, finished six full games out of first in the SEC and then made a run to the national title game.
Why couldn’t everyone get along?
What changed in March?
What did Cal have to do to get everyone on the same page?
I’m sure I’m not the only one that would love to see that in a The Last Dance documentary.
I’d personally say the 2009-2010 John Wall team should move ahead of some of these others, but regardless, it would be awesome for this to happen using any Kentucky squad from the past.
Ok, now go be sad that this was a complete fictional exercise.