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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Do You Realize How Historic the UK-UNC Rivalry Is?

It’s not exactly breaking news to say that North Carolina is one of Kentucky’s main rivals in basketball.  But I am not sure people recognize just how deep this rivalry has been in all-time classic games.  The two teams began playing on a regular basis in 1959 and have played 39 total games in the series history, which includes 3 in the NCAA Tournament.  Of the 39 times the teams have played, 20 times both teams have been ranked at the time of their meeting.  That is an absurd statistic.  A look at those 20 games, with the games in bold instances where both teams were in the Top 10:

2013: #18 North Carolina 82, #11 Kentucky 77
2011: #1 Kentucky 73, #5 North Carolina 72
*2011: #11 Kentucky 76, #7 North Carolina 69
2009: #5 Kentucky 68, #10 North Carolina 66
2004: #9 North Carolina 91, #8 Kentucky 78
2004: #8 Kentucky 61, #9 North Carolina 56
2002: #18 Kentucky 98, #12 North Carolina 81
*1995: #4 North Carolina 74, #2 Kentucky 61
1990: #10 North Carolina 84, #25 Kentucky 81
1981: #1 North Carolina 82, #2 Kentucky 69
*1977: #5 North Carolina 79, #3 Kentucky 72
1975: #4 North Carolina 90, #7 Kentucky 77
1974: #15 Kentucky 90, #9 North Carolina 78
1973: #5 North Carolina 101, #10 Kentucky 84
1972: #13 North Carolina 78, #8 Kentucky 70
1969: #2 Kentucky 94, #7 North Carolina 87
1968: #2 North Carolina 87, #3 Kentucky 77
1967: #5 North Carolina 84, #9 Kentucky 77
1966: #8 North Carolina 64, #3 Kentucky 55
1964: #13 North Carolina 82, #11 Kentucky 67

(*Since some of you are counting, the win total in these 20 games was North Carolina 13, Kentucky 7)

So how does this compare to some of Kentucky’s other main rivals?  Well, here are some of the top programs Kentucky has faced when both teams were in the top 25.  But the main the thing to look at is just how many games it took to get to that number.  You will see that only Duke has a better percentage of games in the Top 25 than North Carolina, but those 2 teams have played almost half as many times.

Indiana: 26 times (out of 55 games)
Florida: 20 times (out of 131 games)
Louisville: 14 times (out of 47 games)
Notre Dame: 14 times (out of 61 games)
Duke: 12 times (out of 20 games)
Kansas: 12 times (out of 28 games)
Arkansas: 11 times (out of 36 games)
UCLA: 6 times (out of 10 games)

Article written by Bryan the Intern

2 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Do You Realize How Historic the UK-UNC Rivalry Is?



  1. RealCatsFan
    9:41 am December 12, 2014 Permalink

    HaHa, I was just listening to the Tom Leach show on the radio, and he is interviewing a UNC play caller. He commented that the UNC team has not had much time to practice this week due to final exams, and I burst out laughing out loud. To the point where several co-workers came by and looked at me funny.

    WHAS 840 radio did a piece about UNC saying to cheer extra hard for the Cats yesterday, partially in protest of the academic scandal at UNC.



  2. RealCatsFan
    9:55 am December 12, 2014 Permalink

    Joe B is on there now, and his mind is as sharp as a tack, even at 86.