Location: Lexington, Ky.

Conference: SEC

Mascot: Wildcats

Coach: John Calipari

Record: 34-0

Kenpom ranking: 1

Good wins: vs. Kansas (by 32!) vs. Texas, vs. UNC, vs. UCLA (by 39!)

Bad losses: lol none

Tournament appearances: 49 (current streak: 2)

Best result: Champion (8 times, most recently 2012)

Notable NBA alumni: Anthony Davis, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins

Best name: EJ Floreal

Celebrity fan: Drake, Ashley Judd

34-0. The Wildcats are the first major conference team to enter the NCAA Tournament undefeated since Indiana in 1975, and some of those wins were absolute obliterations of very good teams. John Calipari's squad has so much talent that for a time, he experimented with playing separate 5-man platoons -- each of which contained five players better than most teams' best players -- and subbing them out hockey-style. But being the best team in the regular season doesn't make you champion, winning the NCAA Tournament does. And just one loss could derail the Wildcats' dream season.

Playing style: The forest

Trying to score when the other team has one very talented tall person is hard. Kentucky often plays three simultaneously, two 7-footers and a 6'10 guy, all in the upper echelon of athleticism for 7-footers and 6'10 guys. Oh, and the backups are good too, so they're often rested and rarely in foul trouble. And the starting guards are both 6'6, and the one short guy they have is a tenacious ballhawk. Good luck! (Kentucky is good at offense too.)

Key player: KAT

Karl-Anthony Towns epitomizes the freakish talents John Calipari gets, a 6'11 freshman with springy legs and go-go-gadget arms who will almost certainly be a top-five pick in next year's NBA draft. He blocks 12.3 percent of opposing shots when he's on the floor, a figure that alone would make him the 66th best team in the country. Calipari first coached Towns during a stint as head coach of the Dominican Republic's national team, a stint that coincidentally started around when Towns started playing internationally and ended around when he committed.


Big Blue Nation has a special variety of Kentucky-related hubris. It would be jinx-y, but understandable, if Kentucky fans started printing up shirts that say "40-0" on them right now. But Kentucky fans printed those shirts up *last year*. In a year after they lost in the NIT. In a year they went 24-10 before the start of the tourney. They ended up reaching the championship game and their shirts were still wildly inaccurate.