Could the 1998 “Comeback Cats” Have Gone Undefeated?

The “Comeback Cats” are one of the most memorable teams in Kentucky basketball, not just because they won a title, but in the way that they did it coming back from 10 or more points in the Final Four and title game.

Could the “Comeback Cats” have been the “Invincible Cats” and even go undefeated?

ESPN wrote an article talking about this possibility and that they might have been one piece away.

Before being forced to retire early due to injuries, former NBA All-Star, Tracy McGrady was a force to be reckoned with in the NBA. He’s confessed on more than one occasion that he would have chosen Kentucky if he’d played college ball.

Just think about what that 1998 team could have looked like.

McGrady as an insanely athletic wing, Wayne Turner running point, Jeff Sheppard and Scott Padgett as perimeter threats, Jamaal Magloire inside, and so much depth on the bench.

Key Players

  • Tracy McGrady (would have been a freshman in 1997-98)
  • Antoine Walker (would have been a senior in 1997-98)
  • Ron Mercer (would have been a junior in 1997-98)
  • Nazr Mohammed (was a junior in 1997-98)
  • Jamaal Magloire (was a sophomore in 1997-98)
  • Jeff Sheppard (was a senior in 1997-98)
  • Scott Padgett (was a junior in 1997-98)
  • Wayne Turner (was a junior in 1997-98)

Even without McGrady, the Wildcats led the NCAA in 2-point defense in 1997-98. With him, this would have been a deeper and have an even more wildly talented lineup.

They proved they could I’ll win the title. With McGrady, could they have run the table and gone 40-0?

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