2012 NCAA Basketball Champions Power Rankings From WhatIfSports.com image

Kentucky vs. Last 25 National Champions

We simulate the last 25 NCAA Basketball Champions head-to-head

By Jake Westrich - WhatIfSports.com
April 3, 2012

Using our college basketball simulation engine, we placed Kentucky in a round-robin tournament featuring every national champion from the past 25 years. Every team in the tournament played every other team 51 times. The simulation generated each team's winning percentage (Win%) and average points per game (Avg PPG).

To simulate these games or any other theoretical matchups of your choosing, try the WhatIfSports College Basketball SimMatchup tool.

2012 Kentucky vs Last 25 NCAA Basketball Champions
RankTeamWin%Avg PPGSimulate vs Kentucky
12000-01 Duke Blue Devils89.896.8SimMatchup >
21995-96 Kentucky Wildcats83.195.0SimMatchup >
32004-05 North Carolina Tar Heels80.494.4SimMatchup >
41989-90 UNLV Runnin' Rebels73.396.1SimMatchup >
51997-98 Kentucky Wildcats59.984.4SimMatchup >
61991-92 Duke Blue Devils59.893.3SimMatchup >
72007-08 Kansas Jayhawks59.684.5SimMatchup >
82003-04 Connecticut Huskies57.681.9SimMatchup >
92001-02 Maryland Terrapins56.589.4SimMatchup >
102008-09 North Carolina Tar Heels55.691.7SimMatchup >
111994-95 UCLA Bruins54.791.3SimMatchup >
122006-07 Florida Gators53.585.2SimMatchup >
131992-93 North Carolina Tar Heels53.489.3SimMatchup >
141993-94 Arkansas Razorbacks51.392.7SimMatchup >
152005-06 Florida Gators49.384.1SimMatchup >
161988-89 Michigan Wolverines46.390.8SimMatchup >
171998-99 Connecticut Huskies43.383.9SimMatchup >
182011-12 Kentucky Wildcats41.478.3SimMatchup >
191990-91 Duke Blue Devils40.589.7SimMatchup >
201999-00 Michigan State Spartans39.882.8SimMatchup >
212009-10 Duke Blue Devils37.682.2SimMatchup >
222002-03 Syracuse Orange29.882.4SimMatchup >
231986-87 Indiana Hoosiers28.586.9SimMatchup >
242010-11 Connecticut Huskies23.275.2SimMatchup >
251996-97 Arizona Wildcats20.985.2SimMatchup >
261987-88 Kansas Jayhawks10.980.0SimMatchup >

The NCAA tournament tends to serve as the great equalizer of college basketball. Even the most talented squads have trouble navigating its gauntlet. As a result, more often than not, the team cutting down the net isn't really the "best" team at all. Consider Kentucky the exception.

The Wildcats were the preseason No. 2 team in the AP Top 25 and spent the last eight weeks of the season atop the rankings. Their loaded lineup features the Naismith College Player of the Year in Anthony Davis and as many as six first-round NBA Draft picks. But how does Kentucky compare to past NCAA champions? Using our college basketball simulation engine, we pitted the Wildcats against the last 25 winners.

Kentucky ranked 18th in the simulation, winning 41.4 percent of its games, despite finishing as the second-lowest scoring team. Credit the Wildcats' simulation success to the same tenacious defense they deployed in limiting Kansas to 59 points on 35.5 percent shooting in the National Championship game.

Rick Pitino's 1995-96 team still sets the standard for the Wildcats, finishing second in the simulation with a winning percentage of 83.1.

Are you interested in creating your own all-time NCAA tournament dream team? Check out our NCAA Basketball Dream Teams feature and start loading up your roster with guys like Duke's Christian Laettner, Indiana's Isiah Thomas, Georgetown's Patrick Ewing, and North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough. Then simulate your roster against other dream teams or any NCAA basketball program past or present. Best of all, it's FREE!

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Jake Westrich is the Digital Content Coordinator for WhatIfSports.com. He can be reached at jwestrich@whatifsports.com.

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