Kentucky closing in on UCLA's NCAA basketball championship record

ARLINGTON, Texas -- UCLA Bruin fans should be fidgety, nervous and maybe a little nauseous.  Another Kentucky basketball championship would be its ninth, leaving the school only two behind UCLA's record of 11.

Kentucky has the UCLA dynasty on the run as it is already the NCAA tournament leader in appearances (53) and wins (116).

Kentucky vs. UCLA, in historical annals, is always a zero-sum game.

Kentucky will probably never match UCLA's record of 38 straight tournament victories, still one of the most amazing feats in sports, but the Wildcats have won 11 straight dating to their 2012 run to the title.

UCLA is becoming to Kentucky what the Boston Celtics are to the Lakers.

UCLA and Boston led their sports in championships with 11 and 17, respectively, but those legacies are fading with time and are now more associated with America's race to the moon.

The Lakers, years ago, displaced the Celtics as the NBA's top brand for the simple reason the Lakers have won more titles since anyone over 45 can remember.

Since 1976, the Lakers have claimed 10 NBA titles to four for the Celtics.

If Kentucky wins tonight, the Wildcats will have won five NCAA championships since John Wooden retired in 1975 after winning his 10th. 

And remember this: The only post-Wooden title, in 1995, will be celebrated with its 20th anniversary next year. Since then, Kentucky has won three titles (1996, 1998 and 2012) and is 40 minutes from a fourth.

In other words, UCLA fans should be doing an eight-clap for Connecticut,  even though a UConn win would be the school's fourth since UCLA won its last.

In Los Angeles, far away from the lights of Jerry Jones Stadium and CBS, UCLA is said to be making progress in basketball after reaching this year's Sweet 16.


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