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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Relive the Most Famous UK-UCLA Meeting

Talk to an older UK fan and they always have interesting feelings when it comes to the 1975 NCAA Championship game.  And really, I have always found that game had a more important factor on UK history than people would like to admit.  First off, just take the overall titles.  If Kentucky had been able to win that game, the overall count would stand at UCLA 10, Kentucky 9.  And with a very likely title this year, UK could have been tied in that category in March.  But also think about what that game meant for the individuals involved.  For John Wooden, it allowed him to go out a winner.  I would tend to think that part of his narrative is constantly mentioned and UK had a chance to damage that.  Sounds a lot different to say Wooden went out a runner-up over a champion.  How about Joe. B Hall?  He would have had 2 titles in his career, instead of just the 1.  Pitino, Smith, and Calipari haven’t been able to win a 2nd title, so Hall could have separated himself from everybody but Rupp.

And then there is Kevin Grevey.  His stats would merit him in consideration for one of the 2 or 3 best UK players of all-time.  But he doesn’t have a title.  Neither does Issel, but his stats were so astronomical that it didn’t matter.  Grevey needed that title.  And if he had won it, I think he would have been in the same breath as Goose Givens.

But what people often talk about is simply how UK was the better team that night.  There might have been some questionable foul calls in favor of the Bruins, in hopes of giving Wooden his last title.  I don’t know.  But I actually found footage of that 1975 championship game for your viewing pleasure.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

7 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Relive the Most Famous UK-UCLA Meeting

  1. Gap Tooth Danny
    9:23 am December 17, 2014 Permalink

    As one of the older UK fans, I can testify that the officials were intimidated by Wooden in this game (and most others, IMO). UK should have been playing Louisville anyway, but the stripes jobbed them out of winning in the semis.

    • 25OR624
      9:46 am December 17, 2014 Permalink

      It Wooden $urpri$e me if there was more to it than that.

    • BTownUKFan
      11:03 am December 17, 2014 Permalink

      I remember that game as well. Kentucky was up 4 or 5 when Wooden through a big hissy fit. Instead of calling a technical on him they started making bogus calls on Kentucky and allowed UCLA to steal the game.
      The extra benefits received by UCLA players of that era is still one of the biggest untold NCAA travesties in history.

  2. bouzoukiman
    10:22 am December 17, 2014 Permalink

    Thanks, but no. I don’t want to relive any UK loss.

    No doubt the refs were in the tank that night, even if it wasn’t intentional. I remember reading in the LHL the next day that at one point Wooden was reading the riot act to the refs on the sideline at mid-court about some call. When Hall approached they made him back off and sit down while Wooden is still yelling.

  3. James
    10:44 am December 17, 2014 Permalink

    Wooden stood up , lost his cool , which he rarely did , walked onto the court, normally a technical , and gave the very shocked referees a tirade . So completely out of character it seemed to change the momentum.

  4. RandyB
    10:44 am December 17, 2014 Permalink

    UCLA should have been on probation (death penalty) at that time, and John Wooden should have been discredited. Multi-millionaire Sam Gilbert bought so many UCLA players for Wooden it’s ridiculous.You would think great weather and movie starlet coeds would have been enough.
    Here’s a story about it.

  5. Scout23
    2:01 pm December 17, 2014 Permalink

    I was there. No way Wooden was losing his last game IN California. He announced his retirement on Sunday, between semis and finals. When he delivered his tirade, he was almost at center court. No question after the lack of technical on him that they were going to lose… Years later, Grevey was on a plane with Wooden; the old man was derisive of UK in discussing the game with Kevin ( I’m sure Wooden would claim “good naturedly” of course. Wizard of Westwood, my a$$.)