Memphis used to be the town in Tennessee where UK dominated, before Nashville came around. In fact, UK hasn’t played in Memphis since 1997. But if previous results in Memphis are any indication, we could be in for a lot of fun this weekend. UK is any amazing 14-0 in Memphis all-time. A look back at those previous contests:
1948-1957: 4 wins against Ole Miss, 1 win against Washington St. Louis (all regular season)
1994 (SEC Tournament, Pyramid)
-Beat Mississippi State 95-76
-Beat Arkansas 90-78
-Beat Florida 73-60
While that 1994 team was maybe the most forgettable Pitino squad, losing in the 2nd round of the tournament, their performance in Memphis was memorable for the fact they would beat two Final Four teams in Arkansas and Florida. It was also the 2nd SEC Tournament meeting between the Cats and Hogs in the middle of a 8 out of 9 year run in the conference tournament, in which the Cats won 7 of 8. It was also the Cats 3rd straight SEC Tourney title but the first in Memphis.
1995 (Regular Season, Pyramid)
-Beat Ole Miss 82-65
The first regular season game in Memphis since 1957 resulted in a forgettable game where the Cats actually trailed at half. Interesting nuggets from that game were Rod Rhodes scoring 23 points despite making just 3 field goals. Rhodes would hit 16 of 20 free throws, more free throws than any UK player has hit in a game since.
1995 (NCAA Tournament, Pyramid)
-Beat Mount St. Mary’s 113-67
-Beat Tulane 82-60
UK scored a record 113 points in their domination of MSM and followed it up with an equally easy win over Tulane in which 6 Wildcats scored in double figures but none more than 14. Cats fans were certainly quite confident heading into the Sweet 16, which the Cats would win before falling to North Carolina in the Elite 8. These were the last NCAA Tournament games UK has played in Memphis.
1997 (SEC Tournament, Pyramid)
-Beat Auburn 92-50
-Beat Ole Miss 88-70
-Beat Georgia 95-68
Two key notes from that tournament were UK’s absolute domination in all 3 games but more importantly, the last game UK played AGAINST Tubby Smith before he would take the job that spring. Ron Mercer was incredible all tournament but the balance the Cats had pushed them all the way to the title game that year.
Here is an incredible stat: UK’s perfect 14-0 record in Memphis is the only city in America where UK has played 6 or more games without a loss. Only Owensboro (5-0), Jackson (4-0), and Las Vegas (4-0) has UK been unblemished in 4 or more games.