Fri Mar 15 09:20pm EDT
Kentucky's NCAA Tournament hopes took a crippling blow with a loss to Vanderbilt in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals.
If it turns out to be a fatal blow come Selection Sunday, UK will become part of a club that isn't the type they wanted to join when the season started.
Since 1985, when the tournament was expanded to 64 teams, four defending champions missed a chance to repeat because they either weren't good enough to make the field or were banned from even having the opportunity. Here are those teams, along with how much production they lost from their title year and how their record changed:
-- 1987: Louisville | Lost 54.4 percent of its point production, including its top two scorers. Went from 32-7 (10-2 Metro) to 18-14 (9-3 Metro).
-- 1989: Kansas (because of recruiting violation) | Lost 73.6 percent of its point production, including heavy top scorer (Danny Manning, scored more than double that of anyone else). Went from 27-11 (9-5 Big 8) to 19-12 (6-8 Big 8).
-- 2008: Florida | Lost 85.2 percent of its point production (including all six top scorers). Went from 35-5 (13-3 SEC) to 24-12 (8-8 SEC).
-- 2010: North Carolina | Lost 74.9 percent of its point production (including all four top scorers). Went from 34-4 (13-3 ACC) to 20-17 (5-11 ACC).
-- 2013: Kentucky | Lost 93.3 percent of its point production (including all six top scorers). Went from 38-2 (16-0 SEC) to 21-11 (12-6 SEC).
John Calipari hasn't missed the NCAA Tournament since 2004-05, when his Memphis team went 22-16. Since then: One national championship, one national runner-up finish, one other Final Four finish, three Elite Eight finishes and one Sweet 16 finish. In his entire college coaching career, Calipari has made the NCAA Tournament in 14 of his 20 years.
He, and Kentucky, could end up on the wrong side of the tournament line this season.