UK Men's Basketball

In online battle of basketball greats, Big Blue Nation dominates

According to the NCAA @marchmadness Twitter account the “all-time 5” of Tony Delk, DeMarcus Cousins, Tayshaun Prince, John Wall and Anthony Davis has a chance to win its mythical tournament of all-time great programs. Voting began @marchmadness on Twitter on Friday.
According to the NCAA @marchmadness Twitter account the “all-time 5” of Tony Delk, DeMarcus Cousins, Tayshaun Prince, John Wall and Anthony Davis has a chance to win its mythical tournament of all-time great programs. Voting began @marchmadness on Twitter on Friday. Twitter.com/marchmadness

What happens when you do an offseason fan poll about who would win a tournament of college basketball’s all-time greatest teams?

Well, so far, Big Blue Nation dominates.

Friday marks the opening of voting for a mythical championship game that has come down to a battle between Kentucky, of course, and ... Florida?

Yes, Florida’s “all-time 5” of Erving Walker, Bradley Beal, Chandler Parson, Al Horford and Joakim Noah beat out UCLA’s Russell Westbrook, Gail Goodrich, Reggie Miller, Bill Walton and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for a spot in the “NCAA March Madness All-time Starting 5” bracket, a poll that has been conducted matchup by matchup over the course of the past several weeks via the @marchmadness Twitter account.

With voting open for just a couple of hours Friday, more than 12,000 votes had already been cast, with Kentucky holding a substantial early edge.

One can argue that Kentucky’s “all-time 5” setup for this contest is a bit off, but the combination of Tony Delk, Tayshaun Prince, John Wall, Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins has proved unstoppable in the fan voting. Kentucky beat North Carolina’s “all-time 5,” which included Michael Jordan and James Worthy, by a wide margin 55 percent to 45 percent of more than 40,000 votes.

On top of that, Kentucky was deemed a No. 2 seed behind Kansas, a program that has fewer actual national titles (UK 8, KU 3). Florida, with two actual national titles, was a No. 4 seed. Its fan base punted No. 1 Duke in the contest’s Sweet 16 round.

Big Blue Nation has apparently been the fan base most involved in the poll since the outset with head-to-head wins over West Virginia, Ohio State, Kansas and North Carolina. Two of UK’s votes have the highest participation rates in the 32 team contest.

As for Kentucky’s real “all-time 5,” Herald-Leader readers got a chance to vote on that in a poll that accompanied the first mention of this contest. After more than 4,400 votes, readers picked Dan Issel, Anthony Davis, Jamal Mashburn, Jack “Goose” Givens and Kyle Macy as their starting five. John Wall was left out of the first draft of the poll, but tallying his write-ins and his votes after he was entered, he fell one vote shy of Macy to crack the top five as of Friday.

Quade Green downplayed the meaning of the Kentucky basketball team's blowout victories in the Bahamas. (Photo by Chet White of UK Athletics)

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