John Calipari Called The End Of Historic 31-Year March Madness Drought During First Game Of Season

John Calipari knew Howard basketball was special before the season began. He knew what the Bison are capable of and he was right.

Howard, a private, historically Black research university in Washington, D.C., enrolls nearly 9,000 undergraduates and more than 12,000 students in total. It is one of the largest, and oldest HBCUs in the country after being established March 2, 1867.

The men's basketball team, which has a 40.7% winning percentage since 1971, has reached the NCAA Tournament three times in that same time span. Once in 1980-81 as a No. 12-seed, once in 1991-92 as a No. 16-seed, and this year.

The Bison ended their 31-year March Madness drought with a win over the Norfolk State Spartans on Saturday. They are going dancing for the first time since 1992!

It was a historic win for a program that was not expected to finish as high as it did. The MEAC's head coaches and sports information directors voted in the preseason that Howard would finish third in the conference behind North Carolina Central and Norfolk State.

Instead, the Bison won the regular season and the conference tournament. Where many people doubted them, Calipari did not.

John Calipari believed.

Kentucky hosted Howard in its first game of the regular season and won by 22. Despite the blowout win, Calipari knew that the Bison were going to do something special.

He said after the season opener that he would be shocked if Howard did not win the MEAC and reach March Madness. After watching the tape before the game and playing against them to begin the year, Calipari had nothing but great things to say about the Bison.

His postgame prediction, that a 31-year NCAA Tournament streak would snap in 2023, was correct.

Despite Howard's successful year, it enters the NCAA Tournament as a No. 16-seed and will face a dominant Kansas side in the first round. A win is unlikely, but simply making The Big Dance was a great success for the Bison, and Calipari saw it coming all along!