The Kentucky Wildcats are 40 minutes from a National Championship. The team that lost to South Carolina on March 1st by five is the last of two teams standing. How did it happen? A tweak, a team building exercise, lots of practice–no one really knows.
Coach John Calipari is not afraid to tell the media that his team is young. In fact he is almost anxious to tell them how young they are. He sells his program better than any coach in the country. The Kentucky Wildcats are Calipari’s brand and he makes sure it is seen in every newspaper and website in the country.
His team loses two games in a row, what does Calipari do? He starts talking about how he tweaked things. Next thing you know tweak is trending on Twitter and BBN is making t-shirts.
The Thursday before the Final Four game with Wisconsin he tells the media that he doesn’t like the phrase one-and-done anymore, he then tells them he will tell them his new catch phrase on Friday. That gave every reporter in the western world 24 hours to speculate and write more columns about the Kentucky Wildcats. He then comes in Friday and tells them about “succeed and proceed”. The that ruled social media and became a new t-shirt.
When they won the game against Wisconsin, Calipari had Drake come into the locker room to speak to the players. I don’t know too much about his music, but college players and recruits do. At the end of the day you have to be amazed by Cal’s marketing genius. No body does what he does, most don’t even know where to start.
When Kentucky and UConn step onto the floor of AT&T Stadium Monday night none of the slogans or famous rappers will matter. It will just be two teams playing basketball and no one can question now how much of a team the Kentucky Wildcats are. It took them a while to become a team, 5-star recruits take a while to mold and humble sometimes.
Most of what John Calipari does is for show, smoke and mirrors. However whatever he did this season has not only amazed college basketball fans, but has created a team that is worthy of a National Championship.
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