After the Connecticut Huskies won their sixth NCAA Championship at the Final Four in Arizona, there was much discussion about whether UConn had become a college basketball “blueblood.” However, no one talked about what it means to be a blueblood in 2024.

Is there a tangible value to being a blueblood that translates into athletic success? For example, hosting a public event in your arena to introduce a new head men’s basketball coach, who was the captain of one of the greatest teams in your program’s history, can attract over 20,000 fans.

Being a blueblood does not guarantee that the coach you hire has won an NCAA Tournament game. Schools like North Carolina, Duke, and Kentucky have all hired new coaches with no head coaching experience in recent years, with varying levels of success.

There is doubt whether being a blueblood leads to consistent championship-level success in today’s game, and it remains to be seen if fan bases like Big Blue Nation are willing to accept this new reality.

The success and struggles of blueblood programs like Kansas, North Carolina, and Kentucky in recent seasons show that there is no clear pattern for success. Despite this, the value of these iconic brands remains evident.

As teams navigate the challenges of the portal/NIL era, it is unclear what the formula for championship success is. Factors like player experience and success in the transfer portal do not guarantee success, adding to the uncertainty faced by even the most powerful programs.

The pressure and expectations that come with coaching at a blueblood program like Kentucky are significant, making it a challenging but potentially rewarding opportunity.