In a short time, Kentucky will be tipping off in Atlanta against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, the 73rd meeting all-time between the two programs. Normally this type of low-level power five matchup wouldn’t be too stressful for the ‘Cats, but given the current two-game schneid they’re facing, securing a second win on the season is crucial. So if you need reasons to get excited about tonight’s game, here are five reasons why you should hate Georgia Tech.
1) Because they left the SEC
From 1933 until 1964, Georgia Tech was one of the 13 teams that played in that silly little boys and girls club called the Southeastern Conference. During that time they played Kentucky 53 times, including five occasions in the SEC Tournament, all of which UK won. Overall, UK’s 57-15 record against ‘Tech would be their fifth-best winning percentage against any SEC opponent, minimum 70 games. Then, after capturing just one league championship in 34 years, they opted to leave the SEC. They helped create the Metro Conference (now C-USA) in 1975, but skipped out after three seasons to join the ACC, thereby setting the unofficial record for most conferences founded without winning s***.
2) Because they snapped The Streak
The 1950s were not a memorable decade for Georgia Tech basketball, except for one night: Jan. 8, 1955, when they shocked Rupp and Kentucky 59-58 in Memorial Coliseum. The loss snapped UK’s 12-year, 129-game home winning streak, widely considered one of the most unbreakable records in college basketball to this day. Georgia Tech Coach Whack Hyder once told Sports Illustrated it was “the first time I ever saw grown people cry over a basketball loss.” After the game, Rupp reportedly greeted his players with silence before calmly letting them know that the loss would be a “scar” they would carry the rest of their lives. All that for a January loss? Yeah, sounds about right for us.
3) Because they made Chris Bosh in a lab
This may be a controversial take, but I’m convinced that Georgia Tech created Chris Bosh in a Jurassic Park-style experiment in a desperate attempt to win a national championship. Think about it: he showed up on campus along with Jarret Jack in 2002, looking every bit the part of a dinosaur, and dominated the ACC competition from the jump. However, the Boshosaur became sentient, and he took the opportunity to join his Raptor brothers in the NBA after his freshman season instead of coming back to be a part of a 2004 superteam that would have won it all instead of falling to UConn in the title game. He would go on to win two NBA championships with the villainous Miami Heat before retiring due to health issues at 35, which is right about when you’d expect someone with T-Rex DNA to start puttering out. Awfully suspicious, if you ask me.
4) Because Bubba Parham won’t leave us alone
It seems like just yesterday that a 5’11” VMI guard named Bubba Parham came into Rupp Arena and dropped a cool 35 on the ‘Cats, including 10 three-pointers, in a game UK only won because P.J. Washington and Reid Travis were equally unstoppable down low. That was in 2018. Last year, he returned to Rupp after transferring to Georgia Tech and was held to 10 points on 4-7 shooting. Now he’s back again, and averaging 14 points off the bench for Josh Pastner’s squad. But beware: in just two games this season, he’s already hoisted 12 three-point attempts, so you know it won’t take much for Parham to get hot and cause problems for Coach Cal once again.
5) Because of Josh Pastner’s sideburns
Look, quarantine has been rough on all of us. I spent most of the summer in my pajamas, and by the time I ventured out for that first haircut, I probably looked like Gritty. But at a certain point, you have to clean up and make yourself presentable, especially when you’re a high-major college basketball head coach. And by the look of Josh Pastner’s facial hair during Georgia Tech’s Thanksgiving-week loss to Georgia State… he might’ve forgotten something.
Josh Pastner has preposterous sideburns pic.twitter.com/22Tub4lQmk
— Dana Beers (@DanaB_Number3) November 26, 2020
Perhaps Pastner had the foresight to trim those bad boys before making the trip to Atlanta this weekend. But if not, I have a feeling it will be a popular topic of discussion on the postgame show.