Heading into the 2023 NCAA Tournament, John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats faced quite a bit of pressure as the team had not won a single NCAA Tournament game since 2019. But even though the team won its opening round game, failing to make the Sweet 16 once again is seen by many – including prominent SEC media personality Paul Finebaum – as a failure.
During an appearance on “McElroy and Cubelic In The Morning” Paul Finebaum absolutely blasted John Calipari and Kentucky, saying that the program has become “irrelevant” in recent years.
“Kentucky has become irrelevant,” Finebaum said, according to On3. “We get all excited about them every year because they’ve got the No. 1 recruiting class coming in, which they do again. Last year, in November, they were the No. 4 team in the country. They had to fight to get into the tournament in February, which they did. And then they laid another egg.”
“To the elite college basketball world? Getting knocked out in the Round of 32 is a failure,” Finebaum said. “I just thought by moving the goalposts or the goal? The goal this year for Kentucky was they had to make it to the Sweet 16 just to wash away the stench of the last couple years. You had COVID, you had a losing season. And then, last year, losing to Saint Peter’s in Round 1, which is still one of the worst losses in modern college basketball history. And now this.”
They may be some harsh words, but Finebaum certainly makes a compelling argument.