The Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball team is a college basketball team representing the University of Kentucky. Since beginning play in 1903, Kentucky has the most all-time wins (2090) and the highest all-time winning percentage in the history of college basketball (.763). Kentucky’s all-time record currently stands at 2090–649. Kentucky also leads all schools in total NCAA tournament appearances with 52, is first in NCAA tournament wins with 111, and ranks second to UCLA in NCAA championships with 8. In addition to these titles, Kentucky also has won the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) in both 1946 and 1976, making them the only school to win multiple NCAA and NIT championships. The Wildcats have played in a record 52 NCAA Tournaments, in a record 157 NCAA Tournament games, have a NCAA record 39 Sweet-16 appearances, and a NCAA record 34 Elite-8 appearances. Further, Kentucky has played in 15 Final Fours (tied with Duke for 3rd place all time), and has 11 NCAA Championship Game appearances (second all time to UCLA), winning 8 NCAA Championships (second all time to UCLA). Kentucky also leads all schools with 56 20-win seasons, 13 30-win seasons, and is the only school with 5 different NCAA Championship coaches (Rupp, Hall, Pitino, Smith, Calipari).
The Wildcats play their home games in Rupp Arena, a facility named for their former coach, Adolph Rupp. Rupp Arena is the largest arena in the United States built specifically for basketball, with an official capacity of 23,500. As a result, Kentucky consistently ranks first in the nation in home game attendance. The team’s huge fan base is often referred to as the “Big Blue Nation” or the “Big Blue Mist”, the latter because the fans typically engulf tournament and neutral-site venues. Likewise, the team itself is often referred to as the “Big Blue”. In the 1980s the team was credited with popularizing Midnight Madness.
On April 1, 2009, John Calipari was formally announced as Kentucky’s 22nd men’s head basketball coach, replacing Billy Gillispie.
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