The Big Blue Madness is almost ready to begin. No, not the Big Blue Madness that officially opens Kentucky basketball practice at midnight Oct. 15. That's only the beginning of the real Big Blue Madness for UK fans who are openly talking about a Final Four contender despite losing four of the top six players off last year's team and going into this season depending heavily on five newcomers.
Yet there might not have been so much hype about a recruiting class at Kentucky since the 1974-75 class of James Lee, Rick Robey, Jack Givens and Mike Phillips. They helped UK reach the 1975 Final Four and then led the Wildcats to the 1978 national championship.
Coach Tubby Smith's incoming freshmen - guards Rajon Rondo, Ramel Bradley and Joe Crawford along with center Randolph Morris - are considered either the nation's best or second best recruiting class by most college basketball analysts. Throw in guard Patrick Sparks, who had last year to learn Smith's system after transferring from Western Kentucky, and the Cats could have their own new Fab Five this season.