is an interesting letter to the editor over at Kentucky.com which talks
about how Kentucky has not learned how to market to a national audience,
concluding thusly: "Until UK learns to market an
exciting program to a national audience, the perception that Duke and North
Carolina are becoming the premier programs in America will continue growing.
Unless that perception is changed, winning may be the next to go."
What do you mean perception, Kemosabe?
In the case of UNC, that's arguable. The Heels are the defending
national champs, but their return to the top was choppy, and a smooth path from
here is not necessarily guaranteed, although Roy Williams has recruited
brilliantly. But the win over Kentucky, exhilarating as it was, seems less
impressive after Indiana's thorough dismantling of the Cats.
As far as the dominant programs in the country currently, it's hard to argue
against Duke, UConn, and Arizona, and while UNC, based on the last several
years, is less impressive, they have been to three final fours since Dean
Smith retired, and while various things may disrupt their rise - chemistry next
year and the draft for the next couple of years - they are rising.
The writer has a point - Kentucky could do a lot more to promote their team
and it would be good for everyone - but it's hard to imagine UK slipping very
far. But the perception that other programs are more successful is not
just a perception. It would be interesting to see how UK would do in the
ACC. Or, to turn it around, to see how Duke would do in the SEC.
Speaking of Kentucky, Gregg Doyel won't make many friends in Lexington with this
column about Western Kentucky.