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What hurts more? Comparing two of Kentucky’s top heartbreaks

Kentucky fans have experienced a range of upsetting losses over the years that span across all sports. From the Christian Laettner shot to the 1997 loss to LSU on a Hail Mary pass, the heartbreak and disappointed is something fans are never able to shake.

But since I’ve been alive, three losses have stood out to me the most, two of which have occurred in my four years of attending the University of Kentucky.

First we have the 2015 National Tournament loss to Wisconsin, when Kentucky’s basketball team could have competed for the title and topped Indiana’s undefeated season. Instead, the loss for the Cats turned into another championship win for Duke.

Then, we have last night’s loss to Florida in football, marking 31 years of disappointment for Kentucky fans when facing the Gators. Aside from the fact this has happened year after year after year, this time around felt different. The talent was there, all of the chips had fallen into place and the Cats looked like they could actually pull this one off. The streak was finally going to end. Until in true Kentucky football fashion, it didn’t.

The pangs of disappointed and funeral-esque mournings across the Bluegrass today are plentiful, but I can’t say I’m surprised. At no point yesterday was I fully confident Kentucky was going to win that game. However, a few years ago when watching Kentucky vs. Wisconsin, I was nothing but positive we could win, even when we got off to a terrible start and let Wisconsin on a 12-3 run.

Something about a season ending for players who you know will not return the following year settles a little bit differently than a regular season loss that you kind of felt coming. But don’t take my word for. Whatever it is you’re feeling today, here are a few fans from Big Blue Nation who are on your side…

 

 

A (small) portion of the people have spoken, and it looks like they side with me. Of 33 votes, 24% were more upset by the Florida loss and 76% by the Wisconsin loss.

 

What say you? Florida or Wisconsin? Which loss will haunt you more going through the remainder of your life as a Kentucky fan? Let us know in the comments.

@kelseyKSR

Article written by Kelsey Mattingly

Drew Franklin is my spirit animal. @kelseyKSR

27 Comments for What hurts more? Comparing two of Kentucky’s top heartbreaks



  1. KYcats11
    6:16 pm September 24, 2017 Permalink

    Definitely Florida. I am a football fan over basketball, though I cheer my heart out for both. Also, I was at the Florida game, and I wasn’t at the Wisconsin game which also affects my decision. When we were up by 13 points and Grove street party came on, I let myself believe THIS IS THE YEAR.



  2. callitlikeiseeit
    6:22 pm September 24, 2017 Permalink

    Florida loss as it is now. Wiscy loss was a couple years ago so time has healed it some.



  3. RICKSVD
    6:33 pm September 24, 2017 Permalink

    Florida



  4. kenny
    6:47 pm September 24, 2017 Permalink

    Wisconsin for me. The fact that Duke ended up winning the ship made it worse.



  5. truthteller
    6:49 pm September 24, 2017 Permalink

    Not even close. Wisconsin by a mile.
    We are talking about robbing us from making NCAA history. That one still haunts me at the most random times.



  6. BBNDan7
    7:17 pm September 24, 2017 Permalink

    One loss ended a season the other didn’t. That should be an obvious choice



    • Ridge Runner
      7:33 pm September 24, 2017 Permalink

      Agree and what a season it ended I may add…



    • BBNDan7
      7:50 pm September 24, 2017 Permalink

      Indeed it was.



  7. 8xchamp
    7:34 pm September 24, 2017 Permalink

    Wisconsin and it’s not even close. That cost us the title and history. We’re gonna lose in football, it’s what we do.



  8. 4everUKblue
    7:35 pm September 24, 2017 Permalink

    Is it really necessary to open up old wounds?



  9. JTHinton
    8:06 pm September 24, 2017 Permalink

    2017 UNC. Nothing worse than losing to cheaters.



  10. Kat4Life
    8:24 pm September 24, 2017 Permalink

    You’re giving me mood poisoning !!! Dear god…..why would anyone want to wallow in those two experiences……like asking us to compare the death of our two parents……..



    • BBNDan7
      8:58 pm September 24, 2017 Permalink

      I mean I don’t know if I would go that far…



  11. Peter Criss
    8:35 pm September 24, 2017 Permalink

    Well, given the fact that “too soon”, still applies to the Wisconsin loss, answers it for me. Last night was bad, but Wisconsin approached Duke level misery, which will likely ever be topped (thank God).



  12. MAYS24
    9:00 pm September 24, 2017 Permalink

    Florida for the rest of the weekend and down the road with more perspective Wisconsin will hurt more.

    Neither come close to the depression and eternal pain after the Rupp’s Runts lost to Texas Western. I think the reverse racism was a big part of the loss. The players were not racists. Adolf Rupp was no more a racist than the majority of his time. Rupp loved winning more than anything. He was prejudiced from the ignorance and stupidity of the times.. The game for Texas Western was for much more than basketball. Duke was the best competitor that year for the title. Texas Western had 7 losses that year and was not as skilled as either Duke or UK. Only a best of a series will produce the best team any year.
    1975 was another title psychology played too huge a role. Wooden announcing his retirement was too much to overcome. Both were similar to the OJ trial where the abuse the black race suffered for centuries somehow was reason to let a murderer go free.
    The Laker/Knicks championship where Willis Reed made a grand entrance in 1970 became a little more than just basketball. All these examples cheat the facts and history.

    The Laetner Shot would be my second worst horror. Timberlake and Riddick were great jumpers and 6’9. Either on baseline or in place of Pelphrey or Feldhaus on Christian and he never gets the ball. Off the top of my head in no particular order these ripped out my heart:
    1. MIke Casey auto accident probably robbing us of 3 tittles.
    2. Derek Anderson cleared to play by the doctor but Rick Pitino stepped in just for his own ego!
    3. The lid on the basket in 1984 against Georgetown. We had already beat Houston that year.
    4. Dan Issel fouling out as he was dribbling backing up against Jacksonville.
    5. Sam Bowie’s injuries.
    6. LSU hail mary in football.
    7. Wall’s team being upset when they missed about 30 3 point shots.
    8. Multiple ot loss to Florida in football
    9. I could go on but I am already feeling better!



    • RickE
      9:26 am September 25, 2017 Permalink

      Yeah, the bs surrounding ’66 and ’75 was just that. A bunch of bull shit. Fouling Big Dan out while running backwards down the court was BS too. Pitino cost us two, the’97 DA debacle and the Laetner game. Very good comment!



  13. RickE
    9:02 pm September 24, 2017 Permalink

    One cost us a national championship. One didn’t mean a thing. Just a dumb question.



    • ukkatzfan
      9:21 pm September 24, 2017 Permalink

      If the basketball team won, they still would have played Duke for the title. Dumb question in your basketball world maybe. Our football team is still a college team with 3 & 4 year players.



  14. ukkatzfan
    9:08 pm September 24, 2017 Permalink

    For me, it was last night’s loss to Florida. In my world…. UK Football > UK basketball in every way.



    • RickE
      9:33 am September 25, 2017 Permalink

      I’ve sat in the top row of the end zone since Stoll field when we beat #1 Archie Manning and Ole Miss. Again, one cost us a National Championship and one means absolutely nothing.



  15. Kevin the Bacon
    12:06 am September 25, 2017 Permalink

    They all hurt, we just gotta learn to love the hurt together! #uksports



  16. chris43
    2:26 am September 25, 2017 Permalink

    Basketball by FAR! Hell I’ve grown to expect the football losses. Although I have to admit I was sucked up in the hype that we’d beat Florida…..should have known better 😕



  17. Rick_S
    6:14 am September 25, 2017 Permalink

    This is a stupid question…We play basketball here



  18. Sentient Third Eye
    8:25 am September 25, 2017 Permalink

    The loss to Wisconsin stopped an attempt climb a ladder to Heaven at the second rung from the top.

    This Florida loss stopped an attempt to pull out a knife that has been stuck in our hearts for 31 years, slowly but surely bleeding us out.

    So the question is like asking if you would rather die by hanging or by the electric chair. Even asking it misses the point because either way, you end up in a state you don’t wish to be in.



  19. smahurin
    9:00 am September 25, 2017 Permalink

    How is this a question? The wisconsin loss. UK was 2-games away from a perfect season, and lost in the final four. This florida loss is a regular season loss. There is no comparison.



  20. krautdog
    10:58 am September 25, 2017 Permalink

    The loss of a National Championship opportunity obviously hurts. the worst. However both losses happened with the same cause-the coaches changed the game plan from what got them where they were!