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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Games UK fans want back the most

If I could have ONE game that Kentucky lost that I wish they would have won more than any other, it would have been the 2004 loss to UAB in the NCAA Tournament.  I had tickets to the Sweet 16 and never had seen UK play in the NCAA Tournament, loved that team, and hated UAB’s players.  But I know that would not be on most UK’s fans list of games they want back.  I also know that losing to Duke in 1992 would be #1 on a BUNCH of UK’s fans lists, so I leave that one out because of how obvious it is and just to give a little variety to the conversation.  So my question to you is:  Of the 10 games listed below, which game do you want back the most and why.  I listed some reasons under each game of my reasons why, but I want yours. 

2010: West Virginia, Elite 8
-What if Kentucky had won this game and went to the Final 4 in John Calipari’s 1st season.  UK would have got the dream matchup with Duke and likely been favored to win the entire tournament.  Patrick Patterson would have firmly cemented himself as a Top 10 legend.  The Final Four streak would have ended at 12 years instead of 13.  UK fans would have dominated the home crowd in Indianapolis. 

2005 and 2003: Michigan State and Marquette, Elite 8
-What if Kentucky goes to Final Fours in either of those 2 seasons.  Tubby Smith may still be the coach at Kentucky.  Maybe recruiting would not have dipped at the end of his tenure.  Maybe Dwayne Wade doesn’t become the national superstar he did, doesn’t get drafted by the Heat.  With a 2nd or 3rd Final Four Smith would have been considered loved by 100% of the UK fanbase.  And Tom Crean never becomes the IU head coach. 

1997: Arizona, National Title Game
-What if Kentucky wins its 2nd straight title against Arizona.  This may have kept Pitino at Kentucky.  This would have certainly made UK the team of the 1990’s, especially after the 1998 title.  But maybe a title in ’97 would have prevented a title in ’98, as the team would have had more pressure.  Maybe Lute Olsen never wins a title, leaves Arizona sooner than he did. 

1996, Mississippi State, SEC Tournament Finals
-What if UK completes the first ever perfect SEC season.  They would have won 8 straight tournament titles, instead of the streaks of 4 and 3 on either side of this game.  Would they still have been as dominant in the NCAA Tournament and won the title?  Would they have gone down, without any questions, as the greatest UK team ever?  

1986: LSU, Elite 8
-What if Kentucky beats LSU for a 4th time that season and goes to a Final Four in Sutton’s 1st year?  They would have played Louisville in the Final 4, and maybe prevented them from winning their 2nd title.  They had already beaten the Cards by 5 earlier that year.     Maybe with a Final 4, Sutton’s later antics and probation don’t happen because the pressure to get to a Final Four decreases.

1983: Louisville, Elite 8
-What if Kentucky wins the original Dream Game.  Maybe the series between Kentucky and Louisville doesn’t get renewed.  Maybe Joe B Hall wins a 2nd national title, getting through Houston and NC State to do so.  Maybe UL doesn’t continue rolling in the 1980’s. 

1975: UCLA, National Title Game
-What if Kentucky beats John Wooden in his last game.  Does Kevin Grevey go down as a Top 2-3 UK player of all-time?  Maybe Joe B. Hall really gets the program rolling on a yearly basis, winning a title in ’75 and ’78. 

1970: Jacksonville, Elite 8
-What if Kentucky, the top ranked team in the country, beats Jacksonville and goes to the Final Four.  They would have been favored to win it all.  Dan Issel would have a Final Four on his resume.  Maybe the school doesn’t force Rupp into retirement 2 years later. 

1966: Texas Western, National Title Game
-What if Kentucky wins Rupp’s 5th title in 1966.  Do race relations change as quickly in college basketball as they do?  Does Rupp’s reputation become as tarnished with future movies about the game?  Or is the pressure to recruit African-Americans to UK go away, preventing Tom Payne from coming later. 

1952: St. Johns, Elite 8
-What if Rupp’s top ranked team doesn’t lose to the Johnnies, but instead makes another Final Four.  They could have won their 4th title in 5 years, something only UCLA will ever accomplish.  Maybe with a title, UK doesn’t cancel it’s next season, but instead figures out a compromise with the NCAA.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

82 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Games UK fans want back the most

  1. 44 Stitches
    9:10 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    I will take back the 97 title game. Your right about the 92 dook game. I think if it was included it would win in a landslide.

  2. RYNO
    9:15 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    1996 was the best UK team in history anyway.

  3. PatPattersonISWalkingThruThatDoor
    9:16 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    This post makes me so sad

  4. crazycatfan
    9:17 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    97 Title Game. We still would have won in 98 and been the “Team of the Decade”, which instead went to pukey dukey! Major Loss!!!

  5. gocats
    9:17 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Gotta be the ’97 title game. That game automatically puts another title banner in the rafters.

  6. mann
    9:17 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    97 championship game. It would give us a 3-peat!

  7. Roy
    9:18 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    The ’97 title game for sure. Really, anyone of the three title games on the list though. That would mean we’re going for #9 this year not 8!!!

  8. presence
    9:18 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    I thought this mornings post would be about a HORSE game.

  9. crazycatfan
    9:18 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    3) I agree … hate to even remember these games. 🙁

  10. mann
    9:19 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    8. I thought so too.

  11. kyhank
    9:20 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    97 or 75 both huge !!

  12. Scout
    9:20 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    !966–then the history revisionists wouldn’t have ammunition to label Rupp a racist. 1975–to beat the arrogant Wooden in his last game. No way the refs were going to let UCLA lose IN San Diego in HIS last game ever.

  13. jaygee85
    9:21 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    97 title game for me, and i think it is easily in the top 2 with the 92 Duke game, we win 3 in a row and maybe Pitino stays and we win a few more titles before now, but maybe he was gone to the NBA either way..If Tubby wins one of the games listed in his tenure, we probably still have Tubby as coach, and we never get Cal..but the loss to UAB would have been sweet to win because we had a real legit chance for a title.

  14. kentuckyjoe
    9:24 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    The game I would like to have back is 2011 – UConn. I would liked to have had a shot at Butler for number 8. Good list BTI; you’ve pretty much got them all.

  15. 78 NCAA Champions
    9:29 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    1975 Title Game. We were the better team, but with the announcement of Wooden’s retirement before the game, no way UCLA going to lose.

  16. lueker
    9:29 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    2004 2nd round game vs UAB

  17. ShepherdsvilleKAT
    9:32 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    2010: West Virginia, Elite 8 – I had tickets to the Final 4 and I took about a $500 loss when I resold them….

  18. Lucaine
    9:34 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    75 UCLA. If UK wins, they would be only two titles behind UCLA for most championships.

  19. BBN
    9:35 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    does nobody want the 2011 final four game back?

  20. kentuckyjoe
    9:35 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    I would like to have a redo of a couple of Naz’s free throws in ’97. He hits just one and number 8 is hanging.

  21. Eloy Vargas
    9:36 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    wow a post by BTI that doesnt include a bunch of bs that makes me want to hurl first thing in the morning. less opinions=readable posts
    also find it hilarious you didnt get to see them in the 2004 sweet 16. thats what you get for being such a douche. they knew you were going to be there and lost on purpose

  22. Eloy Vargas
    9:38 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    i want the last game of the last 2 seasons back. in both games had we shot the ball to our capabilities we walk away winners and advance to the final 4 and the championship games respectively, and probably hang 2 banners in a row

  23. MtnCat
    9:39 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    I’d like to replay the Bernie and Ernie Tennessee game where Ernie shoots someone elses free throws.

  24. KLP
    9:39 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    If Kentucky wins the 1975 UCLA game it takes a title from UCLA and adds one to UK’s resume…. If all else stays the same UK would only be two away from catching UCLA (UCLA – 10; UK – 8). Honestly, catching and possibly passing UCLA is my life’s dream. It is someting I think about multiple times a day.

  25. KLP
    9:41 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    I can’t believe other people don’t feel more strongly about the 1975 UCLA game. With one game we gain two championships on UCLA… just one stinking game.

  26. 2020
    9:42 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Call me crazy, but I have a feeling Pitino wasn’t pushing all the buttons in the 1996 SEC title game vs. Miss St. He kept Antoine Walker on the bench for almost entire 2nd half despite 0 fouls. Perhaps Pitino felt the team was becoming too complacent and needed to be a bit more grounded going into the big dance.

  27. 78 NCAA Champions
    9:44 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    BTI, tell us about the game of HORSE.

  28. Enes Kanter
    9:45 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    I want those 9 games back that I played for Fenerbahce.

  29. CadizCat
    9:45 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    92 Duke. Period!

  30. Fake Joe B. Hall
    9:45 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Has to be the original dream game. That way UofL fans can never say, “Who won the original Dream Game?” and I never would have had to co-host a radio show with Denny Crum. I wish I could co-host a show with this guy on KSTV, so you should vote for him:

  31. HChandler
    9:48 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    1952…Cats had beaten St Johns by 41 earlier in the season
    1966…Would not have to listen to all that social history horsecrap and Jerry Bruckheimer would have a few million dollars less in his bank account…
    1970…after Alcindor and before Walton…would have beaten UCLA..
    1975…could have sent that corn cob up his backside Wooden off to dementia land with a loss..
    1983…Dirk should have made Jones foul and just because its Louisville…
    1986…beat LSU 3 times then lose the most important..when I first started to hate Sutton
    1996…Miss State…so what..meaningless game
    1997…Olsen uses the same cob as Wooden, what a goober
    2003…Chuck Hayes fouls out with no points and some dude named Jackson goes for 29/15 and did I mention that I absolutely hate Dwayne Wade…he uses a corn cob too…
    2010…made a star of a left handed bench sitting guard…ugh and gag…

    In other words all of themmmm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. shadowboxer
    9:50 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    1997 and isn’t even close for me.

  33. 2020
    9:50 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    20. Good one. Nazr shoots 0-6 from the FT line. We lose in OT.
    22. Terrence Jones shoots 0-5 from the FT line, including the front end of a 1-and-1. UK loses by 1. Someone please tell me that they see TJ practicing free throws this summer. He ought to be shooting 100 every day.

  34. dhighdrated
    9:51 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    92 duke though…we don’t need the whole game back. we just need the guard grant hill on the inbound back.

  35. Johnny Utah
    9:51 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Besides the obvious ones everyone mentions, a couple that were hard for me to take growing up were the 1993 loss to Michigan in the Final Four and North Carolina in 1995 in the Elite 8. These certainly don’t compare to the Duke in 1992 or the Arizona in 1997 games, but they made an impression on me personally.

  36. Al's IndiCats
    9:52 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    I AGREE on the 75 game. The refs (NCAA) wasn’t going to let “The Wiz” go out with a loss. We were a much better team, but if nothing else we made The Fat arsed B. Knight go cry in the restroom stall after the game ha ha ha!

  37. I-64 Deer Report
    9:52 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    I agree with all of the choices, with ’75 Championship game the most painful. The one missing that I REALY want back is the 1993 Final Four game against Michigan. Our ’93 team was a steamrolling machine and would have loved a crack at denying Carolina a championship. Dale Brown getting hurt early in the game and Mash fouling out were too much to overcome. Honorable mention: 1995 Regional Final against the Tarholes. Rasheed Wallace was/is/will always be a PUNK.

  38. cbgroves
    9:54 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    ’97 Title game.

  39. ebell55
    9:54 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    28 that is good stuff. How about the loss to Mich. In 1993? I would have to go with either the Marq or Mich state elite 8 games although nothing hurt like that UAB loss!

  40. Tornado
    9:54 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    I apologize for striking the Georgia Dome in 2008. I’d like that one back.

  41. Johnny Utah
    9:54 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    37- I like the way you think!

  42. I-64 Deer Report
    9:55 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    41-Back atcha Johnny U.

  43. Dwane Casey
    9:56 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Should have used FedEx.

  44. EyewearMan
    10:00 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Can we get back the two years we lost with Coach Clyde? Sure, you got Jodie’s 54 on UT, but those losses to Gardiner Webb, and Ky School for the Blind really hurt!

  45. bluesince66
    10:00 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Would have to go with the 75 game first. I think Kiki Vandeweigh was their star and if anyone breathed on him it was a foul while they beat the hell out of Kevin Grevey every time he touched the ball. Second would be the 97 game and losing to that punk Miles Simpson or Simon I’m not sure.

  46. 2020
    10:01 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    How do you not include the 1984 Final Four game vs. Georgetown?

    In addition to a likely championshp final win over Houston (we beat them by 7 earlier in the year), we would never have had to hear about 3-33 shooting, and Joe B might have stayed around long enough to keep the Eddie Sutton / Dwane Casey era from never happening.

  47. JEREMY
    10:02 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    I hav always heard that miles simon was ruled academically ineligible sometime before that game or the tourny? Could just be hear say but… Has anybody ever heard the same?? He did light us up in that game?

  48. JEREMY
    10:03 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    97 championship against arizona.

  49. BCG
    10:04 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    It all started with the Gardner-Webb game. We got whupped.

    Then again, after that loss, I got hammered and wound up with 2 co-eds in a hot tub, so maybe I don’t want that one back.

  50. Larry Brown's Agent
    10:06 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    45. Vandeweghe didn’t show up to UCLA until 2 years later.

  51. Japrick
    10:07 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    For me, it’s the Marquette game in 03. It was the whole setup. Overall no. 1 seed, but yet we have to play Wisconsin and Marquette in the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 in Minneapolis. A stones throw from either school. Wisconsin hurts Bogans and so he is not 100% againts Marquette. The media prints a harmless statement by Estill and gets Jackson fired up. He has the game of his life. And then Wade goes nuts and gets a triple double. That was pure misery for me. I want that game back.

  52. bandalumnus
    10:11 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Was in the pep band in 86 when we faced LSU for the fourth time. People forget that we had to face Alabama for the fourth time prior to the LSU game, and none of it made any sense. This may be the point at which I began to realize that the NCAA had it out for Kentucky. Regardless, just before the game started, we played “The Yellow Rose of Texas” because the final four was in Dallas, and I remember cringing inside thinking, “Dear Lord, we’re going to jinx ourselves.” We never could get any momentum going in that game, and the crowd was just dead… and we still had a shot to win it at the end. Dallas would have been an epic event, and I would have been right there on the sidelines playing. Instead, we had to watch Dale Brown celebrate…

  53. bluesince66
    10:13 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Thanks 50 can’t remember who their star was, but he sure shot a lot of freethrows.

  54. bti sucks
    10:14 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Not a bad post. Still not going to change my name. I’m not too upset about the 1996 MSU game, as I think it was good for them.

    For me personally I would pick ones I didn’t get to see because of traveling. In 2004, I was actually in St Louis for a grad school recruiting trip. I caught the end of the game at the airport – there was a pretty significant cheer at the end of the game. It could have been just because UK a #1 seed, but it was frustrating nonetheless. The next year, I was driving back from a weekend trip during the MSU game. I remember sitting in the parking lot of a Wendy’s in Champaign IL listening to the end of regulation on the radio. The town was going crazy about their stupid one-hit-wonder team, and I just didn’t give a [email protected]#k. A trip to the final four really would have made my day.

    Here’s an under-the-radar game: I think it was 2006 or 2007 against Kansas. We lost by damn near 40 points.

  55. Drano
    10:14 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    A win in 1997 makes that UK run the best in the modern era.

  56. Boss Hogg
    10:15 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Kentucky versus Georgetown in 1984 final four. Patrick Ewing had 3 fouls early in the game, Cats were in control to advance to the championship game. Cat’s laid an egg in the second half dropping a total of 11 points on the Hoya’s. Cat’s went on a scoreless stretch at one point for 10 minutes…Sir Charles says “terrrrible, jus terrrrrible”…

  57. bluesince66
    10:20 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    We must ahve been looking at the 75 game through our blue tinted glasses. Each team shot 25 freethrows and Dave Meyers was the star that night for UCLA. Sure seemed like they shot a lot more freethrows than we did.

  58. 1daysoon
    10:24 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    I’ll go with the 1977 semi final against North Carolina. This was the 4 corner Phil Ford game where we almost made a great comeback with just a few minutes left. A win here and we go to the final 4 and maybe win back to back championships.

  59. Mike Witt
    10:34 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    2010 game against WVU. March 28, 1992. I can tell you where I was standing when we lost. It is the Kennedy assination of my UK generation.

  60. Rose Thorns and All
    10:36 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    No did not graduate from U.K. still a tremendous U.K. fan

  61. Captain Wildcat
    10:44 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    The game i wish to be taken back would be the one in freedom hall in the 75-76 season against indiana. We had them beat, but let them get away. One of the best half court bouce passes ever. Would have been sweet!

  62. ky1der
    10:48 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    I would have to give a vote for the ’84 Final Four game with the ’75 championship game a close second.

  63. Blipz24
    10:48 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Big swing and a miss on this post. 1995 against UNC. Rick Pitino was scared and the team played that way. Clearly, the 1996 is one of the best teams ever. 1995 had basically once player differnet (Roderick Rhodes for Ron Mercer). That’s the one we missed on. 1992 against Duke merely showed how far we had come in a short period of time. Took the best team in the country for two years to play by far their best game to beat us. Why make it any more than that?

  64. David
    10:53 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    58 – You are so right! Dean Smith’s pathetic, weak ass four corners BS kept a better UK team from a 77 78 back to back title run. UK was the best team in both years.

  65. Dave
    10:54 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    The loss to the fab five in the final four in 2003 was actually the most difficult loss to swallow for me possibly EVER. The Mash-led CATS had run through Ryder, UTAH, Wake Forest, and Florida State by an avg Margin of 25 points in the first four rounds of the NCAA’s. I was certain we were bringing home a banner that year shutting up the Chris Webber led punk @$$ fab five. It still stings.

  66. Danny Soloe
    10:59 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Not sure what year,but you gotta add the NCAA tournament game losss to Georgetown when Bowie played and the Cats went so cold we couldnt throw anything in the ocean that day. Man I hated that loss,had we not gone cold I honestly think we had the team to win it all that year !

  67. BTI is a Douche
    10:59 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Seriously man? The 1993 Final FOur ring a bell? Mashburn a chance at the title? Maybe? Idiot!

  68. Danny Soloe
    11:05 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    The Georgetown loss in the tounament back in I think theearly 80’s. No doubt in my mind we had the better team and should have won it all,but we went cold and couldnt throw it in the ocean and went on to lose. I hate that memory,that should have been a title year !

  69. David
    11:20 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    My List:

    2010 West Virginia – Should have never happened.

    2011 Connecticut – A few free throws and we have #8.

    1977 North Carolina – UK was better. Period.

    1975 UCLA – UCLA shouldn’t even have been there, but the refs ripped U of L off against the Bruins in the semifinals.

    2005 Michigan St. – ONE crucial rebound in the OT and we’re in the Final Four.

    1982 Middle Tennessee St. – UK scores 14 in 2nd half and loses 50-44. MTSU is crushed by U of L 81-56 in next round.

    1984 Georgetown – 3-33? Really? Just lob the $%#* ball and let Bowie, Turp, or Walker dunk it!

    2001 USC – USC?? UK falls behind 31-10 and gets within 1 late, but not enough.

    1986 LSU – Ridiculous to play a team for the 4th time for the 2nd straight game. The thing is, I was sure it would be UK vs Georgia Tech in the Elite 8 because Tech was loaded (Mark Price, John Salley, etc) and favored over LSU.

  70. bigpapijugg
    11:46 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    where is the 2011 game vs. UCONN?

  71. Ky76
    11:55 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    I just want one Foul back…when Mashburn picked up his 5th…just imagine…if he hadn’t fouled out….(if you don’t know what I’m talking about…then shame on you)

    and of course 92 is a given….

    2nd would be the UAB game….

    3rd…1975 UCLA game



  72. Ky76
    11:58 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    till the day I die…that 1984 game…the players were on the hook….I really believe Joe B. or some of the players threw that game on purpose….

  73. bung
    12:02 pm June 10, 2011 Permalink

    UConn….we shoulda won it last 2 years…..

  74. bung
    12:03 pm June 10, 2011 Permalink

    84 was painful…bowie and turp owned gtown in 1st half

  75. NBA league pass
    12:05 pm June 10, 2011 Permalink

    1997 would be #1 for me. Followed by 2010 WVU game.

  76. Keith
    12:42 pm June 10, 2011 Permalink

    I agree with the comments from 15 and 18, 1975 was a heartbreaker because of Wooden’s antics!

  77. It's about titles at UK
    12:58 pm June 10, 2011 Permalink

    97 Title Game… 3 in a row, who would not want that!!!

  78. Preston Knowles
    1:06 pm June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Bti u just did this post a month ago where’s the outcome of the horse game vs the girl?

  79. In The Dark
    1:10 pm June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Any one know how the BTI game of HORSE turned out yesterday?

  80. zebby
    1:24 am June 11, 2011 Permalink

    2010. It is more of a story of what could have been. It was a dreaded bad shooting night.

    1997, is more of a “hey, Rick. Play Derek Anderson” story.

  81. Chanden
    6:06 am June 11, 2011 Permalink

    1999 Michigan State game. It would have been UK’s 4th straight final four and possibly 3 titles in 4 years. Man it sure does seem like Michigan State has our number in the tourney.

  82. Jason
    11:34 am June 11, 2011 Permalink

    How is ’92 Duke not on the list? Regarding ’97, I still say that if Derek Anderson had played the last 5 minutes, we’d have won.