The deadline has passed for declaring for early entry into the NBA Draft, which means that Bovada has posted odds to win the 2014-15 NCAA tournament. Kentucky is a 5-1 favorite, followed by Duke (9/1), Wisconsin (12/1), Kansas (14/1) and Arizona, Florida and North Carolina (16/1). It's a lengthy list and you can see it all after the jump.
Yes, the storied Kentucky program has a problem. People aren't attending games at Rupp Arena like they used to.
The average attendance has gone from 23,868 through the first seven games of 2009 to 21,799 this season, reports John Clay of the Lexington Herald Leader.
The 2009-10 season was John Calipari's first as Wildcat coach and the numbers have been on a decline since.
What's going on? Clay lists several possibilities, including giving students the worst seats in the house. He also points to a weak home schedule and roster turnover. Fans who don't follow recruiting, Clay says, never get attached to the players, who often leave for professional opportunities after one or two seasons.
And there is no denying that it is easier to sit at home in front of the 60-inch big screen with favorite beverage in hand and Wi-Fi at your fingertips. Why spend good money on tickets and parking when you have all the comforts of home?
Calipari also might want to rethink his approach. He likes to run a "players-first program." But Clay has advice for the coach. Perhaps Kentucky should become a "fans-first program."
Money talks and B.S. walks. The Memphis Business Journal examined expenses and revenue for 339 basketball teams for the 2009-10 season. Duke, which beat Butler to win the national title, led in spending with $12.2 million — an average of $137,612 per player. The Blue Devils also generated $26.6 million in revenue, tops in the land.
Butler, which lost to Duke in the title game, broke even. The Bulldogs spent every last penny of their $2.8 million in revenue — an average of $33,202 per player.
According to the Journal's searchable database, Kentucky spent the most per player — $196,147. Sacramento State spent the least — $4.064.
No coach can restock a roster like John Calipari. Now we know one of his secrets.
Kentucky spent $434,095 on recruiting in fiscal 2010, easily the largest recruiting budget among teams from the six biggest conferences. Kansas was second with $419,228 and Florida third with $326,306.
The data from 53 teams was obtained from open-records requests by Bloomberg. Private schools such as Duke are not required to divulge the information.
"Kentucky basketball is one of the most important things in our state and we are going to direct resources to ensure that it stays that way," Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart said.
Meanwhile, the Commonwealth of Kentucky is struggling to cover a $165 million shortfall for Medicaid, a federal-state program that provides health care to the needy. Perhaps a loan from the basketball program is in order. The Wildcats had an operating profit of $5.2 million in fiscal 2010 on $16.8 million in revenue.