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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: The Return of Rupp Dominance

One thing that I think has been overlooked by fans and media alike is the change in Rupp Arena success under John Calipari.  As it stands now, Cal has never lost at Rupp in his 1 1/2 years, a total of 25 straight wins.  This is currently the 4th longest streak in the nation.  I think people can sometimes forget just how dominant Rupp used to be, especially under Rick Pitino.  Take a look at the stats:

Career Rupp Record
Joe B. Hall: 122-14 (89.7%)
Eddie Sutton: 53-10 (84.2%)
Rick Pitino: 107-7 (93.9%)
Tubby Smith: 120-19 (86.3%)
Billy Gillispie: 26-10 (72.2%)
John Calipari: 25-0 (100%)

As you can see, Rupp has not been as good as it was during the Rick Pitino era.  And Hall, Sutton, and Tubby all held their own at home.  But I think we saw towards the end of the Tubby era and through the entire Gillispie “era”, Rupp just was not the homecourt advantage it should have been.  Well, John Calipari has changed that all.  Teams have to play an elite game to beat the Cats at home.  Mid-major teams are beat before the ball is even tipped.  In only 4 of Cal’s 25 home game has a team lost by less than 10 points.  And as you can see below, the Cats just are no longer suffering the letdowns that Gillispie’s teams were plagued by.

Home Losses to Unranked Teams
Joe B. Hall: 9
Eddie Sutton: 10
Rick Pitino: 2
Tubby Smith: 11
Billy Gillispie: 7
John Calipari: 0

Frankly, I can take losses at home to Top 25 teams.  It happens.  When top ranked North Carolina comes in and wins, not much you can do.  But, losses to the unranked Penn State, Gardner Webb, VMI, and the Georgia’s of the world is what hurt Tubby and especially Billy Clyde.  That just does not seem to happen, or even come close to happening under Cal.

Now Calipari is coming close to getting the longest winning streak at Rupp Arena, currently held by Rick Pitino at 33.  If Cal runs his conference schedule at home, that will put him at 33 straight wins, meaning his first home game next season would be to hold the record.  Certainly, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, and Florida provide challenges at home this season, but the Cats will still be fairly large favorites in each of those games. 

Longest Rupp Arena Home Winning Streak
Hall: 30
Sutton: 23
Pitino: 33
Smith: 20
Gillispie: 8
Calipari: 25

(Note: Adolph Rupp won 129 straight home games in Alumni and Memorial Gyms)

It’s nice to see Rupp back to it’s proper place as an elite and difficult place to play.  If we can get that lower deck up and cheering for more than 5 minutes a game, it will only get that much better,  But, with the talent currently coming into Lexington, I would certainly think that Rupp will become as tough, if not tougher, than Kansas and Duke for homecourt advantage.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

76 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: The Return of Rupp Dominance



  1. Saul Smith
    10:04 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Has anyone seen my relaxer?



  2. GeezerJock
    10:05 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    129 straight home game wins…NCAA record (never to be topped) !!



  3. Perhaps. . .
    10:06 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    It has less to do with Rupp, or more to do with the players we have now. Just a thought.



  4. the ghost of Bill Hicks
    10:08 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    7 home losses to unranked teams….in 2 years. Could Billy Clyde have been a bigger train wreck?



  5. BigBlueFan31
    10:11 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    “But, with the talent currently coming into Lexington, I would certainly think that Rupp will become as tougher, if not tougher, than Kansas and Duke for homecourt advantage” (as tougher) please proofread before hitting submit! 🙂

    How about…”With the talent coming in, I can see Rupp becoming one of the most difficult places to get a win. Just as tough as winning at Kansas or Duke.”

    Other than that, I think this is one of your better posts. I mentioned to another Cats fan, not to long ago, that Cal had not lost at home. I got a puzzled look and an, “I hadn’t realized that” response. I think the “average” UK fan takes that for granted. So, you are on point with this one BTI!



  6. DoubleZeroMostel
    10:14 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    longest streak by Clyde was 8? A goat with a neck-tie could get 8 straight wins at Rupp Arena.



  7. BTI Fan Club
    10:17 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    BTI, where is Daniels going?



  8. bearded gnome
    10:18 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Fear Rupp

    Put a few more fans that do more than sit in the lower level and it would be out of this world.



  9. Dale
    10:19 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Any way to get a game scheduled at Kansas next year and break their home streak?



  10. El Dude
    10:20 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    So, all of Sutton’s home losses were to unranked teams? That’s kind of amazing.



  11. SexNMentalWards
    10:22 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Gotta give props to Pitino … 107-7 is SICK. And that includes his first season, when the team was .500 calbier.



  12. SexNMentalWards
    10:22 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    (caliber)



  13. Bryan the Intern
    10:23 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    7) Kansas. I stand by it. Look, of course Daniels would be lovely, but in my opinion, we have ENOUGH talanet, and if UK suddenly has 39 5-star guys on the roster, it could up the possibility of chemistry issues.

    I like the 2011 roster without Daniels.



  14. LOL
    10:23 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    9) I still have nightmares of the last two times we went there. No thanks.



  15. BTI Fan Club
    10:25 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    What makes everybody say Kansas, though? I just don’t see why he wouldn’t come here. Playing time this year is not an issue and with an extra 9 months with the team, he will be fine next year.

    Thanks though.



  16. macon_volfan
    10:25 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    BTI-with the fan layout of Rupp, it won’t be as intimidating as Duke or Kansas. Change the layout to more student centric down low (won’t happen, ever too much $$) and then it would be tougher.



  17. LOL
    10:26 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Anybody here actually ever been to a game at Allen Fieldhouse? It is NUTS!!! Worth the trip for any bball fan.



  18. bung
    10:29 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Free whskey during games would help…..I mean this is Kentucky.



  19. PerryStevensonIsntWalkingThruThatDoor
    10:29 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    5) You must be new here, we’ve all given up on BTI’s grammatical errors long time ago. We just accept him for who he is.

    Just peep the stats and move on. 🙂



  20. bung
    10:29 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Oh sure….one little i……



  21. bung
    10:31 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Coach Rupp’s record is amazing



  22. Ukfan4Life
    10:34 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    I agree with #16, more student seats should be available in rupp but that will never happen. I do not mind the older people sitting in lower arena but they need to clap or make some noise every now and then. They are dead for most of the game.



  23. ThankfulCat
    10:36 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    #22 You must have a little weiner



  24. bung
    10:36 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Can you imagine Coach Rupps total wins if they played 35 games every year like we do now?



  25. bung
    10:36 am January 6, 2011 Permalink



  26. bearded gnome
    10:38 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Never been to Allen Fieldhouse or some of the other crazy places that always make ESPN/CBS screen shots. But the one key component in those places is STUDENTS in LOWER LEVEL seats. When people talk about this with Rupp the first reaction is $$. How do these places do it with students vs. high income old folks? Do students pay more per ticket? More donors? Be nice to know the real reason why it can’t happen at Rupp.



  27. rockatao
    10:39 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    I worked out the numbers once on that first Pitino team and they were like 30 points better at home than on the road



  28. douggercats
    10:43 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    What in the world are those people doing in orange shirts. Someone should consult Tom Jurich to figure out the best way to hunt them down, strip and burn their orange clothing, and allow SNH to give each a ‘pearl’ necklace.



  29. Bluehair
    10:45 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    This streak is in spite of the lower arena folks, not because of them. Here’s hoping they take their Geritol and can actually stand up and muster a cheer or two.



  30. MattyB
    10:48 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Still not a fan of that new “UK” flag pictured above, the traditional “K” that was used up until 2 years ago was much better. Always changing stuff up…..



  31. SiestaketCat
    10:48 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    #22, if UK sucks (as the winningest team in the history of college basketball), what does that say about all the other teams, especially Louisville? Do the numbers 28>14 and 7<2 ring a bell?
    God, what an idiot and a loser you are……



  32. PerryStevensonIsntWalkingThruThatDoor
    10:51 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Re: students in lower level. Evidently schools like Duke and Kansas know that it’s an investment. They know they can make more money putting in high-priced seats closer to the floor, but they also GET IT that putting the students there WILL IMPROVE THE RECORD over the years. If a game is close, wouldn’t the players want the entire lower section going nuts? That is a difference maker.

    So what’ll it be, UK Administration? Better income or better overall record?
    Thinking long term, can’t you charge higher premiums to sponsors with a venue like that?



  33. Gogh Big Bleu
    10:52 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Good post, BTI.
    Know of any good blouses on sale?



  34. GoBigBlue
    10:55 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Enes Kanter NCAA eligibility hearing (Today):

    Larry Glover of WVLK stated last night that the Enes Kanter NCAA hearing will take place today. If that is the case, we will likely receive a decision sometime between late today and Monday.



  35. LansingCat
    10:56 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    32–7 is not < 2. At least not when I was in first grade 😉



  36. fatcat
    11:03 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    #22 LOL, is that all you have… please…next time take more than fifteen seconds to come up with something to say…the pinstriped foreskin you have on the sidelines for a coach has not done anything since he left UK… he thought it was all about him… its not.

    In keeping with the KFC/YUM Center theme… UL started the game with no wings, and ended it with no legs,,, the thighs had been previously soiled, and the breast were being cried on by the fans…So to beat Cal at UK remains on Pitinos Bucket List…

    To say that a team sucks, especially after they fairly easily beat you on your homecourt actually disparages (puts down) your own team… so I must interpret you post as saying “UK, it sucks that UL lost to them” that I can understand…



  37. cracka
    11:04 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    recruiting question – if daniels were to pick kansas today, wouldn’t it be smart for cal to go after ben mclemore? he’s the best sg left for next year and is ranked just ahead of daniels by scout.com. the site says he is basically between kansas and missouri. this would give us a good chance of landing a sg, whether it ends up being mclemore or lacey.



  38. Citizen Cane
    11:06 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    8- Weird that the fall in homecourt advantage coincides with moving the students down to the court…



  39. UKBigDaddy
    11:07 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Good work, BTI.



  40. bung
    11:08 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Those old folks were once young folks….they helped make this tradition. Try getting out for a game when you are 80 and see who is dedicated to the Blue.



  41. Reality Check
    11:10 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    I agree with #27…..Cal has been great at home and has definitely brought back some of the “swagger” that was lost under BCG, but Rupp is still no where near as intimidating as a cozy place like Cameron Indoor, where they pack the students around the court like sardines and let them DOMINATE the atmosphere! The number of fans we can fill Rupp with is still daunting for most opposing teams, but until we can have the students occupy more of the lower arena it will (sadly) never be as much of a home court advantage as they have down in Durham.

    Since that will probably never happen at Rupp because of the season ticket holders being entrenched in the lower sections, I’m still holding out hope that UK will eventually decide to play a couple games a year in Memorial and either let it be filled with ALL students, or let everyone camp out for the seats!!



  42. bung
    11:13 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Interview the the silver ones if you want to learn about tradition and talk to someone who was there when we won 3 out of 4 yrs. They can tell us and our coaches what works and what doesn’t.



  43. Megan
    11:18 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Most of our home losses (67%) are to unranked teams! What’s up with that?

    coach: unranked losses – total losses (%)

    Joe B. Hall: 9-14 (64%)
    Eddie Sutton: 10-10 (100%!)
    Rick Pitino: 2-7 (29%)
    Tubby Smith: 11-19 (58%)
    Billy Gillispie: 8-10 (80%)
    John Calipari: 0-0 (undefined)



  44. Cliff Hawkins' crossover
    11:20 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    #22 I happened to be in freedom hall (notice no caps) for the ul (same reference) vs. UNLV game back in ’91 when Vegas ran the table until the loss to the dookies at the Final Four. On the day of the ul/UNLV game, I wore my Vegas shirt. As the final seconds were ticking off the clock of a 20 point Vegas victory, a random tardinal fan came up to me and ‘fake spat’ in my hair and said, ‘Vegas sucks!’. I ask you, #22, if Vegas sucks—and they beat the tards by 20—does that mean that ul sucks, too? If UK sucks—and UK owns ul—does that mean that ul sucks, too? Either way, Joseph N’Sima is still reeling…



  45. Missing Person?
    11:21 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    anybody know where CarolinaBlueIsPastTenseForCarolinaBlows is?



  46. Megan
    11:21 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    sorry, Billy G. was 7-10. If that makes anyone feel any better.



  47. Paducah Cat Fan
    11:22 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    I think there’s a point that BTI and the rest of us are missing. I’ve got no stats to back it up, but in my mind, there are much fewer home & home match ups of big teams anymore. I think in the Rupp/Hall eras there would be lots more big name teams coming into Lexington and making those stats more impressive. In the last decade, games in Lexington seem reserved for mid-majors, in-conference, and maybe UNC or UofL. A streak of 30 or 40 wins by Tubby/BCG/Cal is likely full of games that we absolutely SHOULD win. Many of the big games today take place in Freedom Hall, Madison Square Garden, Ford Field, etc.

    All of that said, huge talent helps, too.



  48. LansingCat
    11:23 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Very nice, 37.



  49. Cliff Hawkins' crossover
    11:24 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    random thought…Thank you, Dean Smith, for the shot clock!!! Boy, how much I loved the ‘four corners’ offense!!! (sarcasm)



  50. Throckmorton
    11:27 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    interesting read BTI, thanks!



  51. bung
    11:29 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    2nd half of John Wall vid is best…..I think I could understand UK in there soewhere…..



  52. bung
    11:30 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    m…..i forgot the darn m…..



  53. JEREMY
    11:31 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Hey #22, did u see the UK vs ul game this year and the year before? And it only gonna get worse for ya, hahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!
    Hey at least you all hav “the bullet” though!

    I feel for ya though,sucks when your fav team sucks!!!!



  54. Al's IndiCats
    11:37 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    ul is NC…..NO CLASS!!!!!!!



  55. Al's IndiCats
    11:42 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    50 Do you remember the game against Cinnci in the early 80s? I think the score was 19-13…..Cats won of course!



  56. BigBlueFan31
    11:45 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    19) No, I am not new here. I just like trying to help the guy out. Plus, this is a UK website and having those types of mistakes makes us look like uneducated tools. Anyway, I guess I shouldn’t be so tougher, errr, tough on him.

    Personally, I could care less who gets DeAndre “Prima-Donna” Daniels. I mean, come on, how long does it take to make a decision? We have DeAndre Liggins. We don’t really “need” this guy.

    Odds of Cal getting the 2 white guys he went to look at last night? I’m setting the line at 0%. Jon Hood, in HS, looked as good as the guy who’s brother is at Florida. And the other guy, is a 7-footer playing against HS competition. He can dunk. Yeah, for him. What can he do vs D-1 competition? If Cal takes these guys is this an indication he may lay off some of the one-and-done guys? That would be a novel concept at looking to actually win a title and not just win 30 games a year and get to an elite 8 as the D-League of the NCAA.



  57. bung
    11:47 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    We should give free whiskey….. what better to prove our dedication than ESPN showing three Grannys beating a ref with their purses….before the game….



  58. bung
    11:49 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    i never been called an uneducated tool before…..THANKS!



  59. Jack
    11:50 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Only at Kentucky would somebody call that winning % of 90 (Hall), 84 (Sutton and 86 (Tubby) “holding their own”! Now, that’s high standards.



  60. SiestaketCat
    11:50 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Like #45, I happened to be in Freedom Hall (out of respect for UK’s 1958 NCAA Championship won there, I will put this in caps) for that 1991 UNLV game with the cards. It was an absolute blow-out, and a virtual dunk-fest by the UNLV players. That 1991 UNLV team was one of the top two college basketball teams that I have ever seen (the 1996 ‘Cats being the other). Good memories of a uofl beatdown!



  61. Blue-Tinted Reality
    11:51 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    5. “I mentioned to another Cats fan, not to long ago, that Cal had not lost at home.” I’m sure you meant “not too long”. Maybe if you proofread your posts before hitting the submit button, you wouldn’t have made that mistake. However, a better thought would be not to point out other people’s mistakes when you have mistakes of your own.



  62. bung
    11:53 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Yeah…the fast break was wunnerful…



  63. Jesus is the ONLY way to Heaven!
    11:53 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^My name says it all guys!



  64. SiestakeyCat
    11:57 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    #64, I agree. By the way, that’s why Bruce Pearl ain’t making the cut.



  65. tim
    11:58 am January 6, 2011 Permalink

    5) your last paragraph, “not to long ago” should read “not too long ago.”
    nobody is perfect.



  66. Rabbi
    12:01 pm January 6, 2011 Permalink

    64, Unless you’re Jewish. This is not a religious board. Go chat it up at mormon.org.



  67. coach K
    12:04 pm January 6, 2011 Permalink

    I SUCK. DUKE SUCKS. louserville SUCKS! GO CATS!!



  68. Big Cat
    12:16 pm January 6, 2011 Permalink

    # 56 I was there and remember all too well. That year we also played Notre Dame in Freedon Hall and the score was similar. That’s not even playing basketball. Dean Smith sucked!



  69. BigBlueFan31
    12:21 pm January 6, 2011 Permalink

    62&66…Yes, I noticed that after I posted it. Since Louisville fans troll this site, and post so often, I was hoping it would go unnoticed. I once wrote for my college newspaper and hold a degree in journalism. However, if you do not practice it, like everything else, you lose your skill. I do apologize for the mistake. By the way, it looks like he edited the article. So, I have completed my good deed for the day.



  70. bung
    12:25 pm January 6, 2011 Permalink

    to often we go too to much trouble too restate what was already understood…..i thought u done good 70…..



  71. bung
    12:29 pm January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Course i still cant find whats wrong with the post u weere fixin…….



  72. BigBlueFan31
    12:31 pm January 6, 2011 Permalink

    71-72..That’s because he changed it after I commented you bunghole!! LOL.



  73. Issel's two front teeth
    12:35 pm January 6, 2011 Permalink

    #23 You can’t blame the “old people” for not clapping, every time they do that at home, the lights go out! Go BIG BLUE!!!



  74. Just Say'in
    2:26 pm January 6, 2011 Permalink

    Everytime I am reminded how poor a choice Gillispie was I’m wondering “What the hell was Mitch Barnhart thinking?”



  75. uk fans are blind
    5:48 pm January 6, 2011 Permalink

    guess everyone has forgotten about that 2 point win cal had over miami (oh)?



  76. upinya25
    10:41 pm January 6, 2011 Permalink

    there will never be a real solution to the old asses who sit down low and dont cheer, if we added box seats we could stuff them all in there, but that would also take out some of the regular seats.

    #75) who’s your team? Louisville? or who, bc i’m sure there are alot of close games for your team too. Oh yeah I forgot that 2 point win over Miami was when 4 freshman played like their 2nd or 3rd collegiate game ever..wonder if you could put them together?