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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Greatest Home Season Ever?

Kentucky has been literally unbeatable at home this season, and only 3 games have been within 10 points.  But just where does this home season rank in the history of Rupp Arena.  Well, there have now been 10 undefeated home seasons since the building opened in 1976.  I have ranked them in what I think were the most impressive seasons, using 3 criteria: wins against ranked opponents, average margin of victory, and average margin of victory in SEC play.  And while this season has been quite great, I found 3 seasons that I think were greater, most notable and not surprisingly, the 1996 national champs.  Take a look at my list and let me know where I am wrong:

1. 1995-96 (13-0)
Wins vs Ranked Opponents: 2
Average Margin of Victory: 27.9
SEC Margin of Victory: 22.3

2. 2009-10 (18-0)
Wins vs Ranked Opponents: 4
Average Margin of Victory: 16.8
SEC Margin of Victory: 14.1

3. 1980-81 (15-0)
Wins vs. Ranked Opponents: 3
Average Margin of Victory: 18.4 
SEC Margin of Victory: 18.0

4. 2010-11 (15-0)
Wins vs Ranked Opponents: 2
Average Margin of Victory: 21.3
SEC Margin of Victory: 15.9

5. 1977-78 (16-0)
Wins vs. Ranked Opponents: 0
Average Margin of Victory: 20.1
SEC Margin of Victory: 16.4

6. 1983-84 (16-0)
Wins vs Ranked Opponents: 4
Average Margin of Victory: 14.9
SEC Margin of Victory: 16.2

7. 1999-00 (14-0)
Wins vs Ranked Opponents: 4
Average Margin of Victory: 13.3
SEC Margin of Victory: 11.1

8. 1992-93 (16-0)
Wins vs Ranked Opponents: 2
Average Margin of Victory: 15.4
SEC Margin of Victory: 19.1

9. 1985-86 (18-0)
Wins vs Ranked Opponents: 2
Average Margin of Victory: 14.1
SEC Margin of Victory: 14.3

10. 1990-91 (13-0)
Wins vs Ranked Opponents: 2
Average Margin of Victory: 14.5
SEC Margin of Victory: 14.4

Article written by Bryan the Intern

47 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Greatest Home Season Ever?

  1. cecil
    9:05 am March 3, 2011 Permalink


  2. Bob
    9:08 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    What does “literally unbeatable” mean? Is that different than “unbeatable”? Please elaborate.

  3. The Real Pioneer
    9:11 am March 3, 2011 Permalink


  4. Wildcatfan in Indiana
    9:11 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    I don’t see rating the 77-78 team at number 5 since they had zero wins vs ranked opponents.

  5. Army_guy
    9:13 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    Hmm dont see a Tubby team on that list do ya.

  6. deer boss
    9:13 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    BTI….I like you stats, but for the purpose of discussion, you could have put the final result, i.e. NAT Champion, lost in second round etc.

    Keep up the good work.

  7. Calipari's Hyperbole
    9:15 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    5. #7

  8. I can't see the comments
    9:18 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    3- I just called Troy McKinley about you, he’s asked for a restraining order. Twice.

  9. Timp
    9:19 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    2) Thank you!

  10. catbalue
    9:23 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    And it appears that the only two back to back seasons belong to Calipari.

  11. SavannahCat
    9:25 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    5-Yes, Tubby’s teams were awful and home. What a moron.

  12. Go Deep
    9:26 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    I think the 91 team was one of the most incredible undefeated seasons simply because there is no way it should have happened.

  13. daddyboy
    9:29 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    83-84 was more impressive… not to mention the Ncaa regional was here as well

  14. Assistant Coach
    9:30 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    Considering the Kanter ruling, the lack of depth and experience, this season (2010-2011) could be the most impressive. Great job Coach Cal!

  15. awww yeeee
    9:31 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    the best home season will be 2012 when BTI isn’t covering UK basketball

  16. NegativeForNoReason
    9:31 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    I like #2 over #1 just because 5 extra wins and 2 extra ranked opponents….But the ’96 team was pretty amazing.

  17. tubby
    9:34 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    5-I coached the 99-2000 team.

  18. big blue
    9:34 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    BTI, why is 77-78 team number 5? Doesnt make a whole lot of sense….

  19. symphonist
    9:50 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    I believe to get a fair picture of these teams you should take the AVERAGE between margin of victory & SEC margin of victory then multiply that by the number of ranked opponents they beat. Hard to argue with the ’96 champs, though. Best team I’ve ever seen in Rupp or anywhere else, for that matter.

  20. UL Homer
    9:52 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    UK fans, call me when you have 23 home games in one year. The most UK had was 18? Weak!

  21. Anthonyeppsdrivingschool
    9:55 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    #15, haha! Awesome

  22. bung
    9:57 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    if we get a bye this year does that make our SEC record important again?

  23. Captain Obvious
    10:00 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    20. Nice try, but there were only 21 home games. Exhibition games don’t count but nice effort

  24. Louisville is one dirty city!
    10:00 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    20) Don’t you feel pathetic being on a UK fan site? Congrats, you are gayer than aids!

  25. DeySomeSnitches
    10:01 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    #20, are you inbred or just plain effing retarded, or both? 23 home games in one year, sure we would love that. That sounds about like the Pukies playing every possible difficult game on your own home court, thus having a huge advantage, and then going and playing only cupcakes on the road and losing. I’m glad you made us again realize how weak little brother is being afraid to play on the road more, chump.

  26. Musehobo
    10:01 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    This is yet another post where BTI sums everything up with stats that should be decided by situation (and is very much opinion-based). Since we are ranking them by “most impressive” seasons, we should consider factors mentioned here like Pitino doing it while rebuilding a sanctioned program, this years team doing it with a poor road schedule, and honestly…I haven’t seen any of the seasons before the 90’s…so I’d have to refer to some people that have. All I know is that the stats above are an insufficient way to rank teams, and even if we did use this system, your rankings don’t make sense.

  27. GummyBear
    10:02 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    McKinley love aside, I actually would move that ’84 team up a couple spots. That was a very good team and a final 4 team.

    On a side note, I respect what the St Judes Childrens Hospital does, but are they suggesting that without them the children would all disappear from the world?

  28. WE R WE R BBN
    10:11 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    1996 was best ever PERIOD!!!!! But Dam we should have won a title last year!!!!!! Who wins this 1996 Kentucky vs. 2010 Kentucky. Last years team was by far more athletic, just no pure shooters, oh well. It’s fun to think about it.

  29. kybigblue
    10:12 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    UK has had 4 not 3 games at home decided by less than 10. They beat both Ga. and Miss. St. by 6, beat UF by 8 and finally Vandy by 2.

  30. Oh well
    10:14 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    14) I completely agree with you!! No one could have expected this team to do this especially after the kanter ruling! I think this team has overacheived considering the circumstances. It’s taken most of the year to learn how to win a close game, but if they have figured it out like I think they have then this team could suprise us all and make A Lot of noise in the tourney!!! With college basketball being so wide open this year, I think there will be more tourney games go down to the wire than we’ve ever seen! If that’s the case, well this team shouldn’t be in for any suprises because they have been in about every situation imaginable! Even though it’s been frustrating at times, I have had a blast watching this team fight and gut it out the way they have with such a thin bench and very limited experience! If they keep building on these last 2 key wins, I think this could be one of the most memorable seasons in recent years!! Go Cats!!!

  31. kyrobman
    10:19 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    28) That’s where the trouble lies if we had Meek’s then we win it all and go undefeated and would make the 96 team look like cupcakes. That is all based on if’s. We must dream it in our own little heads. However Next years team will be impressive.

  32. JB
    10:32 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    What is UK’s overall record at Rupp?

  33. Scratch
    10:38 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    77-78 won a National Championship! Not worthy?

  34. dutch1351
    10:40 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    @ Real Pioneer. Obviously you went to SK with your recent Troy McKinley references. What year did you graduate???

  35. Your Big Brother
    10:53 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    20) If we were not involved in the Maui Classic, or other meaningful road games out of conference maybe we could have scheduled Drexel, San Francisco, Marshall, etc., to get to that #23. We just would have been 23-0. Hell, you couldn’t even protect your home court vs Drexel!

    There will NEVER be a team like the 1996 team! Unless, Knight and Lamb stick around with the class that is coming in next year. Then it could be close!!

  36. Older than dirt
    11:12 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    77-78 I think UNLV, was ranked Top 20 that year. Crushed them on Senior night for King, Kong,Silk, & Steel.

  37. mjj2k+
    11:22 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    The greatest home season ever was 1989-90. Yeah, UK lost twice at home that year, to SW Louisiana and Louisville, but they went undefeated in SEC play, and had an overall record of 13-2 at Rupp, contrasted by 1-12 away.

    That team had 8 scholarship players, none over 6’8″. That team lost 3 starters, including Chris Mills and Leron Ellis, from a 13-19 team, and only added Jeff Brassow and a bunch of walk-ons. That team was nothing but the leftovers from an already bad team, and had just been hammered by the NCAA in May of 89 with some of the harshest sanctions ever handed out.

    Given the circumstances, that team going undefeated at home in SEC play is one of the most amazing accomplishments in school history. It was astonishing. Most people thought that team would be lucky to win 5-7 games. Some people thought the team would be so non-competitive that UK should just cancel the season. Then they went 13-2 at Rupp, 9-0 in the SEC.

  38. Hootie
    11:31 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    I think Ricky 3Stacks’ first team at Kentucky had one of the greatest home seasons in Kentucky history. That team was under NCAA sanctions, had no stars and was over-matched at every position against quality competition. Even though they lost two games at home (to SW Louisiana in the UKIT *stinker* and #8 Louisville), they were undefeated at home in the SEC including wins over 2 ranked teams (#25 Alabama and #12 LSU with Shaq, Chris Jackson and Stanley Roberts). Those guys had guts and a supreme determination to defend Rupp.

  39. Andrew
    11:57 am March 3, 2011 Permalink

    Ranking a home season you should look at how well the team did away from home as well. When you think about the first couple teams they would have had similar overall records anywhere they played. An impressive home season is when playing at home actually gives you an advantage as seen this year.

  40. Matt from Hodgenville
    12:06 pm March 3, 2011 Permalink

    I thought we went undefeated in Keith Bogans’ senior season. Am I wrong?

  41. Bledsoe's Biceps
    12:18 pm March 3, 2011 Permalink

    I’d have to rank the 90-91 team higher. Especially higher than this year’s team. They did it with talent that over achieved greatly. Plus two of those home wins were very sweet. One was beating Kanasa after they ran up the score the year before. And two, upsetting LSU and Shaq.

  42. Bledsoe's Biceps
    12:20 pm March 3, 2011 Permalink

    40) We were undefeated in the conference that year. But not in Rupp.

  43. NBA league pass
    12:25 pm March 3, 2011 Permalink

    28) I have no doubt the 96 team would beat last years team.

  44. SCCat
    12:58 pm March 3, 2011 Permalink

    5 – Your Tubbs bashing without context proves what was wrong with all the Tubbs haters; they never looked at the whole picture. The 2004 team won all 16 SEC games. The best team that fans forgot….bad L to UAB, but one of the most senior laden, well rounded, lovable teams we’ve ever fielded. Daniels, Fitch, Hawk, Estill, Hayes – damn!

    While I’m on the soapbox – if Dwyane Wade doesn’t go off, and we get by Mateen Cleaves – Tubbs still in Lex. He was (and is) a great bench coach. (and FU if you don’t think he could recruit – Prince, Bogans, Morris, Rondo, Crawford were all 1st team)….

  45. tubby
    3:25 pm March 3, 2011 Permalink

    44-Thanks, just ask Minnesota how much they love me as coach. More players have been kicked off my Minnesota teams than I have NCAA tourney wins while at Minnesota. And this year we are not a bubble team.

  46. _Blackhawk_
    3:37 pm March 3, 2011 Permalink

    I know this one isn’t on the list and i know we lost 2 home games early but the 89-90 season was pretty special at home once SEC play started. We didn’t lose a game and we beat Shaq and Chris Jackson aka Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf. No where near most dominate team at home but when you consider who we had at the time and what we did after losing to UofL….pretty remarkable.

  47. CardsRankHigher
    3:46 pm March 3, 2011 Permalink

    Impressive, UK’s best almost won as many games against ranked opponents as this years mediocre UofL team (5)