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Is this supposed to be a big game or something?

Though it hasn’t been released entirely, Kentucky’s 2011-12 schedule could end up rivaling it’s roster in terms of talent and big names when it’s all said and done.  There are the usual suspects (Louisville, IU), a few newcomers from the Big East (St. John’s, USF) and one big name from schedules past (Kansas).  The biggest game of the year, however, is set to be at Rupp Arena against North Carolina, which could be a matchup of #1 and #2 teams. 

When the Tar Heels came rolling into Rupp two years ago, the teams featured fairly loaded rosters and over 20 NBA scouts showed up.  This year, that’s probably going to be even higher.  No disrespect to Boogie and Wall and Patterson and those guys, but consider just how stacked these two teams are going to be.  This is the roster breakdown:

14 McDonald’s All-Americans

7 PARADE All-Americans

10 players projected to go in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft (

So, is this the biggest game at Rupp Arena in the last….I honestly don’t know.  I’ve said several times that it’s going to be the most high-profile regular season game in a long time, but that’s only because I can’t think of one with the potential to be as loaded.  I’ve got a bad case of post-church brain haze, so I’ll pose the question to you.  What was the biggest game you remember at Rupp Arena and could this come close or potentially eclipse it? And consider college basketball as a whole and ask the same question.  What is the last game you remember being this excited for?

Article written by Thomas Beisner

51 responses to “Is this supposed to be a big game or something?”

  1. ku

    When KU came into Rupp 4 or 5 years ago or so, that was one of 2 games ive been to where everybody in Rupp was standing the whole game (even the old folks). That was a very anticipated game. The other one was Ricky P’s 1st time back at rupp as UL coach. Ill never forget when he got that Technical foul. That place went nuts

  2. word

    Three biggest I’ve seen at Rupp were: 1. Shaq, Chris Jackson, Stanley Roberts and LSU 1990; 2. Arkansas SEC Tourney 1993; 3. Florida(1) vs UK(7)2003


    Beating #1 Syracuse, a game Rex Chapman was declared out with an injury. Lexington knew all week that somehow UK would win.

  4. trey

    1. Ricky P’s first game back 2. UK UF when florida was #1 3. 2000 win


    Remember Eric ‘Moon’ Manuel taking a rebound coast-to-coast to seal the victory over #1 Syracuse?

  6. mrob

    when florida came in number one and we lit them up from the get go…….best game ive been to place went nuts when chuck got that dunk off the opening tip

  7. AKA cold buckets

    Both teams will have a significant amount of skilled players

  8. Matt

    Maryland back when they had steve francis maybe?

  9. kentuckyjoe

    This will be the biggest game Rupp has ever seen, period.

  10. Dogwaller

    Kentucky vs. Houston in 1984 was one of the best ever.

  11. Matt from Hodgenville

    Florida ranked #1 in 2003. This game will eclipse it in anticipation.

  12. Holler Baller

    Even though UK lost the first time Arkansas came in with Williamson and Thurmond was a big one.

  13. ukcarp10

    Definitely beating #1 Florida in 2003. I was at that game lower arena with the glow in the dark rally towels. This could definitely top it!

  14. cats

    florida in 03..but this one is so much bigger

  15. SteveNash

    The one against auburn last year!

  16. AppyCat

    Shot of bourbon usually helps with that whole brain haze thing.

  17. fake BCG

    I thought the Gardner-Webb game was huge.

  18. Rhymes With Thespian

    All of those games yall mentioned were epic, but none of them were anticipated like this one.

    Everybody that covers cbb has already mentioned it, and it’s not even memorial day yet.

    In terms of anticipation this game is in a class by itself.

  19. Seneca

    And to think that venerable building, with all its history might one day be replaced. Yeah, yeah change happens but…..

  20. G hart

    1990 KY vs LSU. Couldn’t talk for 3 days.

  21. Jed

    1. Kentucky vs Wisconsin 1977 first official game at Rupp
    2. Villanova vs Georgetown 1985 NCAA championship
    3. Kentucky vs Illinois 1984 Mideast region final w 54-51

  22. KYStout

    1984. Kentucky vs. Houston.

    Clash of the Titans.

  23. DoubleD

    UK/LSU 1990!

  24. 1984

    #22 beat me to it. Super Bowl Sunday, UK v. Houston, Bowie/Turpin v. Olajuwon.

    Also, UK v. Navy in 1987. Also on Super Bowl Sunday. ‘Cats won 80-69, David Robinson had 45 of Navy’s 69.

  25. Mitch

    1985 Villanova over Georgetown in national championship The “Perfect Game”.

  26. mark9698

    Houston 1984 Phi slamma jamma vs Bowie turpin Cats win

  27. Iwearmybluesunglassesatnight

    Awesome games all of them… I have to agree with Navy in 87 with David Robinson. Robinson had 45 of 69 points in the Cats win, 80-69. The Cats on Super Bowl Sunday is always SPECIAL. The UK UNC game will be Epic and most certainly a CATS WIN!!!

  28. Kyle Mann

    The Florida game in 2007 was arguably bigger than the one in 2003, even though we won the 2003 game. I think the Maryland game in 1998 was pretty huge, and the UofL game in 2001 was big as well.

    I don’t think those games will be as big as the UNC game this season. I can’t remember there EVER being a game this big at Rupp. UNC will be bringing back an entire Final Four team and quite possibly the player of the year in Harrison Barnes. It’s gonna be CRAZY.

  29. Soupdog

    People, People, People…..

    Although not ranked, it was the UK – Kansas game in 1990 – The ‘paybacks are hell game’. First game back from TV probation. Doug Bruce announced to the crowd that CBS was going live in 20 seconds for the first time in a year.

    The UK cheerleaders brought out the Big K flag for the first time ever at the 12 minute timeout and the entire crowd stood for the rest of the game screaming loudly. It was the loudest game ever, including Ricky 15′s first game back, Tayshaun’s draining of 3′s against UNC and Shaq, Roberts, CJ game too.

    #25 – valid point, however.

  30. corns76

    Someone wake up the bluehairs and tell them its a big game.

  31. Manchester


  32. Poop

    I’ve got to agree with 29. The kansas game in 1990 was the first game I ever had the privilege to attend so I may be a little bias but it was something special.

  33. UKCAT1

    WHEN IS THE GAME????????

  34. BigCatsFan

    I have to agree with #25,the payback game was one of the best,UK fans were absolutely crazy,a close second LSU 1990,ah what great memories,Go Big Blue..!!!

  35. BigCatsFan

    I meant #29,my bad

  36. Pierce Buster

    #1 Florida in 2003 was a big game.

    Has anybody mentioned when Maryland came in ranked #1 in the 1998-1999 season? When they had Steve Francis and some of those goons… that was a big game and probably the loudest I have ever heard Rupp Arena (Cats won 103 – 91)

  37. Pierce Buster

    My bad, #8 already mentioned it.

  38. cats

    Its hard to compare past vs. present considering we all know the result of the previous games, making many of them more memorable. As far as anticipation for a game, I feel this years UK/UNC match-up has to be the best in Kentucky’s history, maybe the best regardless. But while we are taking a walk down memory lane, I scored some third row tickets to the UK/UNC game when Tayshawn hit those 5 threes in a row. That’s the loudest I’ve ever heard Rupp, one of those times that just makes you proud to be a cats fan.

  39. hermancatabrew

    A big game that I rem, and it won’t seem as big now, was when villinova came to town in 1997. It was ron Mercer vs Tim Thomas a big time match up at the time.

  40. I Shoot 4s

    I’ve missed 2 home games in the last 6 seasons (thanks to student tickets). I think that as far as anticipation goes, I would choose the last UK-UNC game in Rupp was equal. UNC had beaten us frequently, and the aura around that season was unreal. I had more fun at that game then I did when I went to UF in 2003.

  41. hermancatabrew

    Mercer destroyed him by the way

  42. Iwearmybluesunglassesatnight

    Can’t Wait!!!

  43. Different era

    When LSU brought Chris Jackson, Shaq, and his knee pads to Rupp in 1990……that was a huge game (and win for the Cats).

  44. paducah fan

    An early season game if that’s when it is can never compare with something later in the season with lots on the line.

  45. Greg Hilbert

    UK versus Houston. The twin towers versus Phi Slamma Jamma and Olojuwan on Super Bowl Sunday 1984.

  46. blueblue

    I was also at that 1990 pay back game against Kansas. That was also my first ever UK game to attend. Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to be to dozens of games. None will ever compare to that first one!!!

  47. Frank Stalone

    I can’t believe no one has mentioned UMass in 1995-1996. I don’t know if it was the most anticipated, but it seems like it should be in the conversation.

  48. Nutwrap

    John Wall vs UNC two years ago was the loudest single moment (not whole game) I’ve experienced in Rupp (I have been to most of the recent top 10 attendance record games). The start of that game was electrifying; had it have kept up, it would have been by far loudest game I had been to; had UNC not have completely fallen off the map afterwards (albeit hilarious), it would have been the biggest. Therefore the biggest game I went to was against Florida in 2003. I remember the four section C-A-T-S chant that really seemed to rattle Florida. My bottom never touched my seat (even at the halftime entertainment which was probably the crappy 2003 dance team). Definitely the biggest game I have been to.

  49. Captain Wildcat

    Wow, I guess most on here are too young to remember the older days at Rupp. While not the most anticipated game in the country, the most anticipated game ever at Rupp was the first regular season meeting with U of Smell in Nov 26,1983. UK 65 UL 44. Previous to that was the LSU game March 1st, 1981. Which prompted a 3 day campout by the students outside of Memorial. Victory and good times in wildcat country.

  50. Captain Wildcat

    While this is a huge game between 2 basketball power houses with alot of tremendous basketball talent, other than UK and UNC fans this December game will not really be up on the rest of the country as must see. But here in blg blue country, with a hated rival, and a probable number 1 ranking on the line, it could be as big as almost any.

  51. TarHeelsRule