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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Are the Unforgettables the most LOVED UK basketball team?

Watching the news last night, I saw that Richie Farmer received a plea deal in his corruption case that could see the former UK star still headed to prison for up to 2 years.  And while the opinion of Farmer personally amongst UK fans has decreased significantly over the last couple years, I am not sure that the opinion of his team in 1992 really has.  The Unforgettables are without question the most loved non-title team in UK history.  But I began to wonder if they are the moved loved overall.  They hold a special place in UK lore, but frankly, at Kentucky it’s all about winning titles.  So, below I put my 3 contenders:


-The most recent champion not only dominated competition but did so with an incredibly likeable group of players.  Anthony Davis and MKG are legends in UK lore.  Jones and Lamb respected for their returning for a title.  Darius Miller never will be forgotten.  Teague and Wiltjer also nice contributors as well.  Plus, this team beat Louisville TWICE in 1 season.


-What most consider the best team in UK history.  Certainly the deepest collection of talent ever assembled at Kentucky.  Tony Delk was the face of the team, but pros like McCarty, Walker, and Mercer make for probably the most fun team in UK history.  But the most loved?

1947-48 and 1948-49

-Probably the most successful group of UK players in history, this squad not only won consecutive national titles but also a gold medal in the 1948 Olympics.  While fans of this era probably have no memory of these guys playing, they hold a special place in the history of UK basketball as the Fabulous Five.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

18 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Are the Unforgettables the most LOVED UK basketball team?

  1. E Cat
    9:34 am September 6, 2013 Permalink

    I think you have to include Rupp’s Runts of 66. Any fan over 60 can tell you how beloved that team was and how bad it hurt to lose in the title game.

  2. bo jackson
    9:36 am September 6, 2013 Permalink

    Yes… Most loved overall. Saved the program and didn’t do it with much talent besides Mashburn.

    My second place would be the Wall team… I’m still comparing all these subsequent teams to that one as far as how much I enjoyed watching it.

  3. Check it out
    9:41 am September 6, 2013 Permalink

    What was going on at 7:48 of the second video with Coach K wearing a UK hat? I’m baffled right now

  4. Mike Ranney
    9:55 am September 6, 2013 Permalink

    I’ve lived all these moments and i still say you can’t beat the Rupp’s Runts team of ’66. Not to downplay the others as they all are unforgettable, but The Runts were indeed special.

  5. Kevin
    10:00 am September 6, 2013 Permalink

    Ahhhh. The Unforgettables: the primary reason why Pitino coaching at UL is Unforgivable. How do you experience something like revival of the greatest college basketball tradition in America with a group like the 1992 squad, and then take a coaching job at the rival school? I’ll never get it.

  6. bung
    10:23 am September 6, 2013 Permalink

    all 8 Champs plus runts, 92, 75, and 54
    Nice positive article…who wrote this?

  7. slimflannery
    10:37 am September 6, 2013 Permalink

    The unselfishness and passing of the ’92 team really stand out watching those highlights. I wonder how the assists of that team compares to later teams. That team was definitely fun to watch.

  8. The Comeback Cats
    10:42 am September 6, 2013 Permalink

    What about a team that wasn’t supposed to win it all and DID……overcoming double digit deficits in its last 3 games…..including one over the one-seed Dukies…..

  9. come on
    10:54 am September 6, 2013 Permalink

    Teague a “nice contributed”?
    Come on Bryan, once he became the straw that stired the drink, the 2012 team aged into that finest of fine wines. Teague had the hardest of all assignments, orchestrate 5 other gifted alpha males into one of the most fluid, thing of beauty and dominance. All the while being the object of hatred from the spurned fan bases of Indiana and Louisville. He carried the expectations with grace.

  10. come on
    10:55 am September 6, 2013 Permalink

    Damn, “contributer “

  11. Billy Knows
    12:09 pm September 6, 2013 Permalink

    My top three: Unforgettables, Tubby’s 2003 team, 2012 Champs

  12. Blue Hair Don't Care
    12:19 pm September 6, 2013 Permalink

    What strikes me most about the Unforgettables video was how great/loud the crowds were back then. With a couple of exceptions, games in Rupp are pitifully quiet. How the arena with the highest national attendance can have no intimidation factor from the crowd is a mystery to me. (Well, I guess it’s not a mystery – lower arena bought out by folks who don’t participate.)

  13. tom
    1:56 pm September 6, 2013 Permalink

    I think you generally feel closer to teams from the last 5 years since social media exploded. You hear from them, see their pictures, how they live their life etc.

    I was just a tyke when the ’66 team rolled around but in my childhood, I vividly remember my parents, grandparents and adults of that era raving about their love of that team.

    Certainly like the ’92 team for their heart. The ’98 squad is also a favorite of mine. You could feel their passion. Wayne Turner sitting in the key pumping his arms. Scott Padgett both arms in the air, screaming running back down court after a basket. Jeff Sheppard’s presence…everywhere in the Final Four.. Cameron Mills hitting that three against Dook.

    Also loved 2012.

  14. Lexington 3
    2:54 pm September 6, 2013 Permalink

    I liked the Unforgettable team, but still can’t believe how tight they got on the last play against Duke and played NO DEFENSE WHATSOEVER on the last shot. Especially Pelphrey. You can’t just turn your back and walk away and HOPE the other guy misses the shot… that was weak.

    I liked the replay of Farmer stealing the ball and then beating everyone down the court for that tomahawk dunk.

    My votes: 1. John Wall team, 2. Pitino Champions, 3. 2012 Champions, 3a. Tubby Champions

  15. parris
    3:55 pm September 6, 2013 Permalink


    did the 2012 national title team ever get a name?

    if so, what is it?

  16. CatBlue in LR
    6:34 pm September 6, 2013 Permalink


    Young whippersnapper 🙁

  17. ushouldno
    7:19 pm September 6, 2013 Permalink

    The Runts! I was just a young teen-age boy and now 47 years later when I think about Louie, Pat, Larry, Thad and Tommy I am still that young boy amazed at how great a “team” they were. They will always be what I measure UK basketball by, and I still believe Louie could beat anyone at horse even today. In 1986 I called into a UK pregame show hosted by Cawood andasked him if anything was planned for a twenty year reunion of the team, I told if they were my heroes, he said they were his heroes also.

  18. rockatao
    8:38 pm September 6, 2013 Permalink

    The thing about the Runts popularity was that no one expected such a team that year. The year before and the year after were very ordinary by UK standards. WE knew we had four pretty good players coming back, and ther was great speculation about who the fifth starter would be – no one expected it to be Jaracz. And then this thing of beauty emerged, probably the best TEAM I have seen in sixty years of following UK basketball. With no starter over 6’5″. The thing that sticks in my mind is that every starter had at least one 30-point game that year. Riley and Dampier were the stars, but you couldn’t ignore any of them defensively.