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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Outside of the 8 Titles, What are Moments #9 and #10 in UK History?

Despite the emphasis on the NBA and the NBA Draft that has come as a result of Calipari’s tenure at UK, I would think that most fans still get a greater sense of pride out of winning national titles.  At Kentucky, we are lucky.  We have 8 such moments.  But at a program like this with the length of history we do, everybody has those incredible moments they will never forget that didn’t involve winning a title.  So:

-If we assume the 8 national championships were the 8 best nights in UK history, what would be nights 9 and 10?  What are the 2 best non-championship moments in UK history?

It goes to the heart of what is most important to you outside of winning championships.  Is it recruiting success or individual performances or NBA draft memories?  It could be anything, but I am interested that outside of winning titles, what are the 2 biggest nights in UK history.  I’ll give you mine:

9. December 1st, 1970
-Tom Payne becomes the first African-American to play at the University of Kentucky on this night against Northwestern.  It breaks down a barrier that many SEC schools had not broken down, as well as trying to break a reputation of Coach Rupp as a racist.  It opened the door for many future UK stars, such as Goose Givens, who comes just 5 years later.  And while Payne only plays 1 season at Kentucky, it was not the on the court performance that was important.  It was the social significance that laid the groundwork for UK moving forward past the racial segregation of the 1940’s, 50’s, and 60’s.

10. June 24, 2010
-I’ll throw Calipari a bone here and say the 2010 NBA Draft was that significant for this program.  I don’t know if I enjoyed that night as much as I have countless other wins on the court, but we do have to admit what they night symbolized.  On the surface it showed just how much talent UK had on that 2010 team and what an impact those guys would have on the NBA.  It also gave future recruits a good look at the program Calipari was building and what kind of player he wanted.  But more than anything, it showed that UK was BACK.  Back at the top of the college basketball world.  And frankly, UK hadn’t been on the top of the basketball world for almost 20 years.  It completely justified everything Calipari had done recruiting one and done players.  It showed he also could get a 3-year guy like Patrick Patterson into the lottery.  It was the culmination of the quickest turnaround in college basketball history.  So while Cal’s comments that night were absurd, he wasn’t wrong that it was a significant moment in UK modern history.

What are your 2 moments that didn’t involve a championship?

Article written by Bryan the Intern

21 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Outside of the 8 Titles, What are Moments #9 and #10 in UK History?



  1. jahanc2uky
    8:13 am January 8, 2016 Permalink

    9. March 29 2015 Kentucky goes to the Final Four as a 38-0 team.
    10. March 19 1966 Kentucky loses to an all African American starting 5, becoming the National Runner-ups, breaking the barrier national for all races to be accepted as equal competitors.

    9 is easy to explain and 10 is something that Rupp said would be remembered forever. We as fans should be proud of that lose.



    • ukjaybrat
      8:45 am January 8, 2016 Permalink

      i agree on 9…
      i somewhat agree on 10, but not completely. we are proud of that for what it is. but everyone outside of kentucky that is swayed by hollywood thinks uk and rupp were evil and racist. which is stretching the truth quite a bit. so that takes some of the shine off of that moment for me simply because of everyone’s perception of those events. It’s like donating to a charity but not bragging about it. we know what happened, but we don’t have to brag about it.

      I hate to have my two favorite moments both from the cal era.
      but my two favorite moments are:
      9. June 24, 2010 – The 2010 NBA Draft and
      10. March 29 2015 – Kentucky goes to the Final Four as a 38-0 team.

      I’m having a hard time coming up with anything that “impacted” the program more than these moments. Maybe when Pitino was hired to turn the program around. but he’s not exactly garnering any good emotions from anyone in blue right now.



  2. jcatron
    8:33 am January 8, 2016 Permalink

    Cutler chasing Billy Clyde off campus



  3. BlueDeuce
    8:48 am January 8, 2016 Permalink

    9. March 28, 1992, East Region Finals, UK vs Duke … or mostly remembered as “The Shot”. While UK was on the losing end of that game, it did signal a return of the program after spending 2 years on probation. It also is considered one of, if not the, greatest games in NCAA history.

    10. March 31, 2009, the hiring of John Calipari. Again, mostly because it signaled a return of a college blue-blood back to the national stage. His results over the last 6 years proves this was even more of a return to basketball relevance, as he has set the stage for an annual run at the Final Four.

    I picked these 2 events because UK is college basketball. 1 of maybe a handful of schools that can say that honestly; Kansas, N. Carolina, Duke (I’d question this though once K leaves), UCLA (at one time but not as much today), and Indiana (again, at one time but not lately). So maybe 1 of 3 really who have found success over decades with different coaches and have had some of the greatest players to play the game.



  4. jkmann1
    9:08 am January 8, 2016 Permalink

    Didn’t Tom Payne end up in prison?



  5. RC
    9:09 am January 8, 2016 Permalink

    I’m not going to debate the Tom Payne game. Let’s make this about #10.

    Off the top of my head, in no particular order:
    1998 Elite Eight vs. Dook
    1994 Mardi Gras Miracle
    1996 86 point first half at LSU
    2012 win over UofL in FF
    1984 Twin Towers beating Hakeem the Dream in Rupp
    1986 King Rex destroys UofL in Freedom Hall



    • nybrasky
      10:58 am January 8, 2016 Permalink

      I like it. I’d maybe move the 2012 FF win over UofL up a notch.



  6. RC
    9:11 am January 8, 2016 Permalink

    One more:
    1975 UK beats undefeated IU in NCAA tourney



  7. Donnie Hensley
    9:44 am January 8, 2016 Permalink

    Tayshaun Prince hitting (5) threes against North Carolina…. that has to be up there!



  8. SoCalCat
    9:59 am January 8, 2016 Permalink

    Not only was I there in our defeat, but the March 26, 1983 NCAA Tournament loss to Louisville put the cracks in the dam in UK’s mentality that they didn’t play in-state schools anymore. For all those that earn a living from this website and related media, they should give an annual tithe to the NCAA tournament committee members that year that made that game possible 🙂 .



  9. Sentient Third Eye
    10:00 am January 8, 2016 Permalink

    The Unforgettables beating LSU (with Shaq, Stanley Roberts and Chris Jackson) with no player taller than 6-8.



  10. adolph
    10:05 am January 8, 2016 Permalink

    1946 NIT Championship!!!
    Why has this program and fan base “erased” this… The NIT was very prestigious in 1946… A banner USED to hang in Rupp Arena for it… I am not saying claim it as a national championship like UNC and Kansas claim Helms Trophies as national titles, but it was a huge accomplishment. Thanks and GO CATS!!



  11. adolph
    10:08 am January 8, 2016 Permalink

    It is a shame that it is the 70th anniversary of the 1946 NIT Championship and we as fans and the program does not even acknowledge it ever happened.



  12. fatbrat
    10:11 am January 8, 2016 Permalink

    I was in Knoxville 1972 when Tom Payne floored Lloyd Richardson with a straight right. To be fair to Payne, he had been spit on and called everything in the book by the Tennessee fans. I am not sure he was the right player to break the color barrier at UK. It was so hard to play at Stokely Athletic Center. I was really glad when they built the TBA.



  13. Jaxson
    10:41 am January 8, 2016 Permalink

    Tom Payne is a serial rapist. In Georgia and Kentucky. Surely there are better examples than him.



  14. Stopover
    11:55 am January 8, 2016 Permalink

    Lets face it Cal’s ‘PlayerFirst’ philosophy and gettin’ all jiggy with the draft was the root cause for us losing our chance for an undefeated season and a National Championship last year. And a place in history.

    It’s great for the Harrisons who can be found buried at the end of an NBA bench and in the D-League. It’s not so good for UK. Don’t be fooled otherwise.



    • CatBlue in LR
      3:30 pm January 8, 2016 Permalink

      Gotta call BS on that. I’m not in love with saying goodbye to great players after only one year over and over again, but we have to face reality: If it wasn’t for that philosophy, more than half of those guys wouldn’t have come to UK in the first place. Without Cal’s “players-first” philosophy, we would have been nowhere close to 38-0.



    • UK Big Board Update
      4:48 pm January 8, 2016 Permalink

      Stopover is steady hating.



    • J-Dub421
      5:04 pm January 8, 2016 Permalink

      Yeah, it sure is terrible being a title contender and making the Final Four almost every season. (sarcasm)



  15. Megan
    1:17 pm January 8, 2016 Permalink

    Saw HBO’s documentary “Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Minority of One.” He said he didn’t want to go to school in the South. He didn’t want to be the one who broke the color barrier. Same thing Wes Unseld said a year earlier in 1964. Although Rupp was the first coach in the SEC or ACC to recruit black players (he had already recruited and sponsored a black player for the ’48 Olympic team), the racism of the Deep South, nightmarishly gruesome at the time, proved difficult to overcome. His failure to sign a black player until 1969 painted him as a racist in the eyes of many. Red Auerbach was his friend and defended him against such attacks, but it didn’t seem to matter. The words of the players themselves didn’t seem to matter. Rupp, a basketball icon, became a symbol for something else, something people had no trouble believing. Something it seems they wanted to believe. Didn’t help, I suppose, that his name was Adolph.

    Unfortunately, the narrative is fixed.



    • Jaxson
      1:27 pm January 8, 2016 Permalink

      I don’t know if they are official games, but the UK media guide used to list two losses against the “Great Lakes Navy” at the end of 1942 & 1943. These were losses to an all-black basketball team in games that UK played for the war effort. Not exactly the behavior of a ‘segregationist’…..