Whether or not that would be his choice, I think most fans still vigorously disagree with Cal’s statement about the 2010 NBA Draft being the biggest night in UK history. It is certainly the moment that he got the most criticism from fans and media. Obviously, UK’s 7 national championship victories were better nights for the program and fans. But as we are just 1 month away from another NBA Draft, 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 biggest 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 my 2:
9. August 13, 1948 (US vs. France)
-It just really doesn’t get enough publicity that a team comprised largely of only the UK basketball team won a gold medal at the Olympics. And not only did they win the gold medal they won 7 of their 8 games by 25 or more points. They won the gold medal game against France by 44 points. And while they weren’t wearing the blue and white of the Kentucky Wildcats, they were wearing the blue, white, and red of the United States. This might be the greatest accomplishment in UK history.
10. Dream Game Against UL, 1983
-How could I pick a loss? Well, it reignited a rivalry that was long overdue. Louisville had been in our level for many years and for whatever reason the 2 schools couldn’t get it together. The NCAA Tournament made it inevitable though. And not only was the rivalry on from that night in Knoxville, but the game itself was a classic. UK didn’t come out on top but in the big picture, that night was huge for the UK program. Their biggest rival was finally back and the numerous great memories that have come from that night still make a key moment in UK history.