Kentucky Basketball Tickets – Are Fans Seeing A Program In Decline?

Kentucky Basketball Tickets – Are Fans Seeing A Program In Decline?

Kentucky basketball tickets have been cherished for generations in the Bluegrass State, and the team has long been rewarding its rabid fan base with victories in bushels. The Wildcats have won more Division I basketball games than any other school in the United States, and everything about Rupp Arena reeks of tradition and legendary figures.


However, at least by Kentucky’s nearly unmatched standards, the team has struggled in recent years, and the heat is being turned up on the program and Coach Tubby Smith. A look at the overall health of Kentucky basketball should tell us if fans can expect the team to regain its expected form or if these expectations are unrealistic.


Historical Context

Some consider Kentucky, most of those being Kentucky fans, to be the most successful college basketball program of all time. The Wildcats have won nearly 2,000 games overall and seven NCAA championships as of this writing. The team has had a slew of All-Americans and Hall of Fame coaches, and many in the area consider Kentucky the gold standard by which all-over programs are measured.


Although there’s no way to decide who is the “best” program ever quantitatively, and fans of North Carolina, Duke, and UCLA would all have strong opinions on the subject, the fact remains that expectations in Lexington are always sky-high. Kentucky basketball tickets are always used with the expectation of watching a team that should contend for the national title that season, and that never changes.


Current State

Coach Tubby Smith was a bit controversial when he came to Lexington, but he had early success, including a national championship in his first season in 1998. However, even that didn’t quell critics who claimed he won the title with someone else’s players. The nucleus of the 1998 team was recruited by former coach Rick Pitino, a revered figure in the state.


Since then, statistics and results have shown that Kentucky hasn’t lived up to its tradition. The team hasn’t returned to the Final Four since that year, and if they don’t qualify this season, it’ll mark the longest Final Four “drought” in program history. This fact, above all others, adds volume to the fans’ complaints.


Proposed reasons for this “slump” are many. Kentucky’s recent recruiting classes have been seen by many as not being up to par with traditional recruiting hauls, and even opposing coaches have noted a drop-off in Kentucky’s overall talent level. Smith’s style of play is also turning fans off, as his style is a departure from the run-and-gun teams of the mid-1990s that had so much success. Smith prides himself on defense and a deliberate pace, and that’d be fine if it resulted in championships every year, but it hasn’t, so by the logical result, the style is criticized.



This is a critical season for Kentucky and Smith. The program, in many ways, is a victim of its success, as every year, the bar is set extremely high, but this year carries a different mandate – restore “pride” to UK basketball or else. This “pride” will only be restored with a run towards the SEC title and the Final Four. If Kentucky doesn’t make it that far in the spring, the cries and howls will only grow louder, and Smith’s position will become more tenuous.


Regardless of how it all plays out, Kentucky basketball tickets will provide fans with an exciting show this season for several reasons, as things are sure to be engaging in Lexington over the winter.