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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: What is Kentucky’s Greatest SHOT?

Image via USA Today

Image via USA Today

Image via USA Today

Duke has Christian Laettner in 1992.
UCLA has Tyus Edney in 1995.
Kansas has Mario Chalmers in 2008.

Some schools have an obvious pick when it comes to the greatest shot in its school’s history.  For whatever reason, I am not sure if Kentucky has that moment.  The moment always shown during the NCAA Tournament.  The last few years have given us a couple possibilities, but where any of those the best in school history?  I just don’t know if there is an obvious answer or not.  Here were the shots that came to mind for me:

2014: Aaron Harrison vs. Wisconsin (Final Four)
-This one is probably the shot that will be shown most in March by CBS.  It might be the most clutch shot in UK history.

2011: Brandon Knight vs. Ohio State (Sweet 16)
-Beat the best team in the country.  Cemented Knight as a UK all-time great.

2005: Patrick Sparks vs. Michigan State (Elite 8)
-If only they had won this game, this shot would forever been shown.

1998: Scott Padgett vs. Duke (Elite)
-Padgett 3 caps amazing comeback against Blue Devils.

1993: Jeff Brassow vs. Arizona (Maui Invitational)
-This one probably wouldn’t be the pick but for regular season games has to be up there.

1992: Sean Woods vs. Duke (Elite 8)
-If not for that Laettner guy, this would likely be the best shot in UK history

1987: Cedric Jenkins vs. Louisville (Regular Season)
-Tip-in at buzzer beats UL, was Jenkins only points of the game

I’m still a fairly young guy so there might be a bunch of shots from earlier than this that I don’t know about.  But what do you think?  What is the SHOT that UK basketball should/would/is known by?

Article written by Bryan the Intern

46 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: What is Kentucky’s Greatest SHOT?



  1. 8 god
    9:05 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

    Solid list, BTI. I would include Cousins’ putback against Miss St. in the SEC championship — so much pressure in that game, playing for a number 1 seed and fighting off the revenge-hungry Bulldogs. Not the best ever, but a shot that cemented the return of Kentucky basketball.



    • catdaddyd
      12:46 am July 24, 2015 Permalink

      Jim Master ‘s shot against UL in the ’83 Dream Game from my youth would have been my choice had we won. So I’ll go with Padgett/Mills shot over Duke in ’98, got to go with a title year.



  2. kentuckycarter
    9:06 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

    I think you have to put in Tayshaun’s 5th straight 3 pointer from near halfcourt against UNC. I know that it did not win the game but it was unbelievable. And what about Cousins’ buzzer beater to send us to OT against Mississippi St in the SEC tourney in 2010?



    • Adam from Awesome Trot
      1:17 pm July 23, 2015 Permalink

      That is still the loudest I ever heard Rupp Arena.



  3. FlagCityCat
    9:11 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

    What about back to back threes by Padgett in 1998 against Kansas when we were down five in sweet 16 with just over a minute…



    • UKBlue!
      10:41 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

      I believe that was in 1999 mid west regional.



  4. Dick Rawdon
    9:19 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

    Vernon Hatton’s over half court shot to send game into second overtime against Temple with Guy Rogers in Dec 1957 or Jan 1958.



    • Stuart Yancy
      9:29 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

      My dad was at UK at the time and talked about everyone leaving until Vernon Hatton hit the shot and they came rushing back in. He hit a layup later that year with a few seconds to do to beat Temple again in the Final Four.



    • Not Dan Issel
      11:03 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

      Agreed. And yes I believe that was the year the Cats won #4 (1958). You can listen to Claude Sulllivan call the shot if you have a copy of t he vinyl lp “Great Moments in Ky Basketball. You do have a copy of that LP, don’t you?



    • Leuther
      11:51 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

      Agree! Vernon Hatton is #1!



  5. ChicagoCat
    9:19 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

    Got to give Padgett the slight edge over Aa. Harrison. Revenge game against Duke and went on to win the title. Harrison is damn close though.



  6. Travis
    9:20 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

    The Shot Heard Round the Bluegrass–Cameron Mills, 1998 vs Duke. Padgett won the game but this was the moment we took the game



    • JohnV
      1:24 pm July 23, 2015 Permalink

      YES! How Padgett gets the nod for this over Mills, I will never know. I watched that game. Believe me, if you were watching it live, there’s no question that the Mills shot was much bigger



  7. JB
    9:22 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

    What about Nazr buzzer beater against Vandy in 98?



  8. asdf
    9:24 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

    For regular season shots, Nazr’s awkward buzzer beater at Vandy was amazing. Also, I remember Roger Harden had a great buzzer beater to defeat LSU circa 1986.



  9. Big Schip
    9:24 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

    Gotta be Padgett’s 3 to cap the comeback vs. Duke. Watched it hundreds of times on my dad’s old VHS tape. Gives me chills every time I see it in the intro video at Rupp. A lot of good shots though. Go Big Blue.



  10. Blue
    9:26 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

    The obvious similarity between the three examples you start with is that they all occurred during the NCAA Tournament. So, for that reason, regular season shots can be thrown out. Because, outside of Kentucky fans, people aren’t going to remember them.

    For me personally, the Cameron Mills “Shot Heard Across the Bluegrass” is it. It was one of the most anticipated matchups in the tournament that year, was seen by millions, and it basically sent us to the Final Four (Padgett’s three a minute or so later notwithstanding).

    From a national standpoint, I think the Harrison 3 against Wisconsin is probably the most recognizable. Not only is it the most recent, but it was the culmination of an incredible stretch of games. His 3 against Louisville was only to be outdone by his 3 against Michigan and again by his 3 against Wisconsin. It was great theater. From a casual fan’s perspective, that’s gotta be it.



    • theWilkman
      9:36 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

      I would have to go with Aaron’s shot for the reason you stated – it was the culmination of an incredible stretch of games. Especially since he had essentially done the same thing in the previous 2 games. The feeling of “is he going to do it again???” as he prepared to shoot, followed by the elation of seeing it go through the basket, was unbelievable. If we had gone on to beat UCONN I don’t think there would be any debate.



  11. JackEsq
    10:00 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

    Kenny Walker’s game winner against Auburn in the 1984 SEC Championship. He made Barkley cry.



  12. Mat
    10:02 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

    Sparks’ shot was definitely the most entertaining and replay worth shot.



  13. Buns McKenzie
    10:02 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

    The penis went into the anus, that’s called butt sex, my friends. Go Cats!!!



    • CardFan502
      11:52 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

      U can always tell when middle schoolers are out 4 summer vacay.



    • CardFan502
      11:53 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

      They should be out mowing the lawn like they mommas pimp told them to do….



  14. John
    10:06 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

    The Scott Padgett shot provided closure for the 1992 game for a lot of people. Given the comeback and reaction from SP I think it was a very powerful and memorable moment.



  15. Bob
    10:06 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

    I just let the loudest f a r t.



  16. Andrew
    10:10 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

    98′ vs. Duke hands down, without a doubt. Not only did it cap off probably one of the greatest comebacks in UK history, that team went on to win the title.



  17. Brad
    10:11 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

    Scott Padgett



  18. John Ellis
    10:19 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

    Padgett – the greatest shot in the greatest win in UK history. Lead to a title.



  19. John Ellis
    10:19 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

    Padgett’s shot should be shown on the tournament intro every year.



  20. Clam
    10:24 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

    Good list. If I had to add to it, what about Brassow’s tip-in versus Arizona to win the Maui Classic, with Pitino and the entire team tackling him at mid-court? I would also add Walter McCarty’s three pointer from the corner to cap UK’s 31 point comeback over LSU. I still would vote for Padgett versus Duke, but the other two were damn good and important shots.



  21. Dagger
    10:26 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

    Usually with comments people try to come up with additions to an original list but the list was good. The Duke game in ’98 meant as much more to me as a UK fan but what makes “one shot” epic is typically a game winner. It has to go to Aaron vs. Wisconsin . .or Michigan . . or Wichita . .or UL. I think they seem a little watered down because there were so many in a two week span but should he be penalized or praised for that? Duke game was a bigger win but there were multiple shots in that game and none were at the end.

    Some others from the vault:

    Fitch’s three vs Mich St to win the largest attended game ever
    Erik Daniels goofy put back to keep the streak alive vs Miss St
    Tayshaun’s 15 footer in the lane to beat Florida.
    Wall’s coming out game last second shot vs Miami-OH
    Rondo had a fall away jumper to beat UCF? at the buzzer in Rupp
    Delk’s four point play from the corner in the title game in ’96 vs Cuse



    • Clam
      1:56 pm July 23, 2015 Permalink

      I think Rondo’s falling three-pointer was against South Carolina. If I remember, he ran the length of the floor and put that shot up in the corner at the buzzer. He never passed.



  22. TeamNoSheep
    10:26 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

    I’ll submit Tony Delk’s seventh and final three-pointer in the 1996 final game against Syracuse. Late in the game, Delk is arguably fouled (not called, by my memory) and falls into the bench after the shot. The nail in the coffin for Syracuse and put a cap on Delk’s outstanding year. It’s indelible to me.



  23. AGW
    10:27 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

    Padgett’s shot against Duke, definitely.

    It put us in the final four where we won the title. Jeff Shepard had some clutch shots also in that tournament against Stanford & Utah.



  24. 2001Cat
    10:50 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

    Shepard- Awesome shot, but No. Unbelievable moment but there was still plenty of time on the clock.

    Mills- Absolutely NOT

    Tayshaun- No thanks

    Just my opinion- A. Harrison’s shot(s) in the 2014 Ncaa tourney have be the best. Pick one…



    • 2001Cat
      10:58 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

      Not Shepard… Padgett



    • JohnV
      1:26 pm July 23, 2015 Permalink

      2001 must have been the year you were born.



  25. UKBlue!
    10:51 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

    1. Cameron Mills vs. Duke 1998 it propels us to the final 4 and title #7
    2. Vernon Hatton Shot. UK had a nail in the floor to mark the spot for years.
    3. Delk’s 3 pointer from the corner- sealed the deal vs. Syracuse for title # 6.
    4. Aaron Harrison’s 3 vs. Louisville in NCAA. He doesn’t hit UL goes to the final four.
    5. Aaron Harrisons 3 vs. Wisconsin it sends us to the title game and a chance for elusive #9.
    Honorable mention…Jim Masters shot vs UL in the MW 1983 game. It sendsUK into OT. It is a clutch shot that has been lost in a loss. Scott Padgett shot vs. Duke in 1998.



  26. Mr Jay
    11:24 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

    I think the forgotten shot in UK history is the three Anthony Epps hit to send the ’97 championship to overtime.



  27. warrior
    12:23 pm July 23, 2015 Permalink

    rick robey putback to put UK up 14 against mississippi in 1976



  28. wheels
    12:37 pm July 23, 2015 Permalink

    Wow! No one has mentioned Knight’s shot in the comments.



  29. UKClay
    12:57 pm July 23, 2015 Permalink

    Every single point of Jodie Meeks 54 in Knoxville



  30. hersheyisabear
    3:48 pm July 23, 2015 Permalink

    I would have to go with the BK shot against Ohio St. in the Sweet Sixteen. That shot was epic.



  31. JHannibalSmith
    5:49 pm July 23, 2015 Permalink

    So, apparently UK had zero great shots before 1987. List shoulda said greatest shot SINCE 1987. Because if the “writer” meant all-time then this post is incredibly lazy & uninformed.



  32. FurdTurgason
    6:50 pm July 23, 2015 Permalink

    We simply have too many for one to stand out. Aaron’s shots got more amazing each time, but we fell one game short. If the refs had called a foul on Sparks’ shot the way they should have, I’d nominate that simply for degree of difficulty and the stakes. So we’re left with a bunch of nine-and-a-halfs but no 10.



  33. Bobcatukbb
    9:31 am July 24, 2015 Permalink

    Great thread…great lists of shots…anyone remember Patrick Sparks’ “dagger in the heart” shot against Loserville to win that regular season game?