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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: What Are Moments 9 and 10 in UK Basketball History?

Image result for christian laettner 1992

If Cal could go back are correct 1 thing about his tenure so far at Kentucky, I think many fans would say for him to correct his NBA Draft statement from 2010 about that being “the greatest night in UK history”.  Whether or not that would be his choice, it is certainly the moment that he got the most criticism from fans and media.  The obvious correction that needed to be made was that UK’s 7 (now 8) national championship victories were probably better nights for the program and fans.  But after another NBA Draft night which was quite positive for Kentucky, I have begun to wonder this question:

-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 3 biggest nights in UK history.  I’ll give you my 2:

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. March 28th, 1992
-I will throw a curveball out there and say that the 1992 loss to Duke in the regional finals should be included on this list.  That game, whether a win or loss, firmly planted Kentucky back into college basketball elite, a place they had fallen off of since probation.  And it wasn’t just that Kentucky nearly dethroned Duke, it was HOW they did it that impressed fans nationwide.  Their style of play and effort endeared them to not only UK fans, but also college basketball fans and Coach K.  That game, even with a loss, will forever be remembered as a clash between 2 college basketball powers.  And sure, it didn’t go our way, but that game did more to improve the opinion of UK to the college basketball world than maybe any other game in UK history.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

12 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: What Are Moments 9 and 10 in UK Basketball History?



  1. StoneColdSaidSo
    11:04 am June 27, 2018 Permalink

    You only said March 28, 1992 because you want everyone, including your employers, to believe you’re an “outside the box thinker”. You’re more like Donny on the Big Lebowski.



  2. Ez21
    11:22 am June 27, 2018 Permalink

    The LSU comeback would have to receive some consideration.



  3. Sentient Third Eye
    11:29 am June 27, 2018 Permalink

    If you’re just judging significance good or bad, everal other bad moments must make the list. The loss to Wisconsin ending the dream of perfection. The loss in the first Dream Game, which was a wake-up call to UL and the birth of our primary rivalry for the next four decades. The date the Emory Package (allegedly) popped open. That moment completely transformed the program forever. Even the point-shaving scandal which cost us a chance at a title during the undefeated season.

    So if you’re doing both good and bad, where do you draw the line:? All of the above have impacted the program similar to or in some cases even more the Duke loss.



  4. t_f_licker
    11:30 am June 27, 2018 Permalink

    I can agree with both of those.



  5. Bob Ed Thom
    12:25 pm June 27, 2018 Permalink

    The nights that Bud Dupree Got loose on SC to win that game.
    The night Stevie Got Loose.
    The day Myron Pryor RUMBLED, BUMBLED, and STUMBLED 92 yards for a fumble return touchdown to beat UofL.
    Last but certainly not least the DAY that we DESEGREGATED THE SEC with the 4 gentlemen that we recently enshrined with statues at the Football stadium.



  6. runningunnin.454
    12:39 pm June 27, 2018 Permalink

    Considering the unfortunate facts regarding Tom Payne, it might be better to focus on the social significance of Tubby Smith.



    • Luether
      10:01 pm June 27, 2018 Permalink

      Agree. I was in the same dorm (Holmes Hall) as Payne. He was a card carrying idiot and a criminal to boot…



  7. kentuckyjoe
    3:00 pm June 27, 2018 Permalink

    If you’re judging significance March 19, 1966 would definitely be in the conversation. But, I think ‘best’ is the question in which case that date does not make the list.



  8. Chief_G
    9:12 pm June 27, 2018 Permalink

    The day Billy G. was fired.



  9. Chief_G
    9:13 pm June 27, 2018 Permalink

    The day Adolph Rupp was hired.



  10. CatBlue in LR
    11:37 am June 29, 2018 Permalink

    The win over undefeated IU in the ’75 Midwest Regional Finals to get the “Super Kittens” to the Final Four. It was a major upset and the only loss IU suffered that year and the next.