April 1, 2015
LEXINGTON, Ky. — The undefeated Kentucky Wildcats will be greeted by a guest speaker prior to their Final Four showdown against Wisconsin.
UK coach John Calipari asked close friend and mentor Richmond Simpson to speak to the team ahead of Saturday's 8:49 p.m. ET tipoff in Indianapolis.
Simpson, President and CEO of Vimarc in Louisville, Ky., is a 1980 UK graduate and has known Calipari for five years. The duo became close friends after Simpson's advertising agency launched CoachCal.com in the fall of 2010.
"I want my team to be prepared," Calipari said. "I've attended a few of Vimarc's monthly staff meetings, and no one — I mean no one — gets their team better prepared than Richmond Simpson."
Vimarc's phones have been ringing all week. National media outlets are begging for an inside scoop on what Simpson plans to present to the Wildcats.
The agency's leader refuses to budge.
"My words will be carefully chosen," Simpson said. "Winning a national championship is like putting together a successful client pitch. You don't show all your cards until you're in the room."
Kentucky (38-0) is looking to become the first undefeated NCAA men's basketball champion in 39 years. Indiana last accomplished the feat in 1976.
"I've heard great things about Simpson and Vimarc," UK guard Aaron Harrison said. " We've heard from Coach Cal all season long. It's going to be nice to hear something fresh."