If you are among the UK fans obsessing over Kentucky's standing on the all-time college basketball wins list, the Wildcats advantage over their Tuesday night foe, North Carolina, is down to 15 victories.
Given the strength of the Tar Heels roster in 2008-09, it is possible UK could win 25 games and still lose almost all of its margin over Carolina on the all-time list this year.
This wikipedia article says that North Carolina was 15 games behind Kentucky at the end of the 2007-08 season. That would make the Tarheels currently 14 games behind. But will they make up practically all the margin this year?
North Carolina plays 30 regular season games, potentially 3 or 4 games in the ACC Tournament and potentially 6 games in the NCAA tourney. If North Carolina were to go undefeated, they would have 39 wins total -- playing only 3 games in the ACC due to the bye. In this case, if Kentucky wins 25 games, North Carolina would have 14 more wins than Kentucky (including the win they already got against Penn). Kentucky would just be a game ahead of North Carolina at the end of the season.
Yet, how possible is it for North Carolina to win all 39 games? Not bloody likely. Last season, Kansas was 37-3 and Memphis was 38-2. I think we all remember that C-USA was quite the cakewalk for Memphis. There hasn't been a perfect season since The General did it back in 1976. That's because the NCAA has gotten just too damn competitive. And the 3 point line, don't forget about it (like our defense did this weekend HAR HAR HAR MAKE THE HURTING STOP BILLY!)
North Carolina will be extremely fortunate to get through their schedule completely unscathed. Last season the Tarheels lost two games in the ACC schedule, then lost in the NCAA Final Four, dropping a total of 4 winnable games (including the NCAA Championship game they didn't play in). An early loss in either the ACC or NCAA tournament this year will snuff out any extra games North Carolina could use to cut the deficit.
The deficit will more than likely get cut down to 3 or 4, if Kentucky gets to 25 wins -- and that's a big if HAR HAR MAKE THE HURTING STOP BILLY!
Personally, I want the deficit down to 1 or 2 games, for either side. Both programs have such a history, and both are going to still be good programs in the future. Despite the occasional setbacks, both programs will continue to win and be within reach of taking over the all-time wins. It'll be fun trading off the record through the season. "Ha! Lost to Duke again! We'll take that from you..."
Personally, I'd like to get one of those wins tonight. Make the hurting stop, Billy.