Soon after the Unforgettables left Lexington, UK bagged a couple of titles, including the 1996 crown with those Untouchables. This year's team too deserves a moniker to take with it down the years. So all hail the Irrepressibles: a hardworking Wildcats team that would reconstitute itself to a championship standard even after losing eight players to the NBA over the two previous seasons. One that will be sure not to dither on campus any longer than necessary, thank you very much, notwithstanding the anti-one-and-done-ism at large in the nation. Finally, more than anything, a team that knew enough to regard its two defeats as teachable moments—disappointing results that helped make a title possible.
Here's, then, to the annealing power of losses. They're part of history, too—in the blush of this April, ancient history, to be sure, but of a piece with Kentucky's hoops heritage just the same. As UK claims another title, and Davis collects yet another player of the year award, all is right with the world. The Wildcats are whole. This was Richie Farmer's "next time." This time, Kentucky won.