Kentucky Wildcats

Kentucky Wildcats (NCAA Men's)

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The Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball team, representing the University of Kentucky, is the winningest in the history of college basketball, both in all-time wins and all-time winning percentage. Kentucky’s all-time record currently stands at 2090–649 (.763). Kentucky also leads all schools in total NCAA tournament appearances with 52, is first in NCAA tournament wins with 111, and ranks second to UCLA in NCAA championships with 8. In addition to these titles, Kentucky also has won the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) in both 1946 and 1976, making them the only school to win multiple NCAA and NIT championships. The Wildcats have played in a record 52 NCAA Tournaments, in a record 157 NCAA Tournament games, have a NCAA record 39 Sweet-16 appearances, and a NCAA record 34 Elite-8 appearances. Further, Kentucky has played in 15 Final Fours (tied with Duke for 3rd place all time), and has 11 NCAA Championship Game appearances (second all time to UCLA), winning 8 NCAA Championships (second all time to UCLA). Kentucky also leads all schools with 56 20-win seasons, 13 30-win seasons, and is the only school with 5 different NCAA Championship coaches (Rupp, Hall, Pitino, Smith, Calipari).[1][2][3]

The Wildcats play their home games in Rupp Arena, a facility named for their former coach, Adolph Rupp. Rupp Arena is the largest arena in the United States built specifically for basketball, with an official capacity of 23,500. As a result, Kentucky consistently ranks first in the nation in home game attendance.[4] The team’s huge fan base is often referred to as the “Big Blue Nation” or the “Big Blue Mist”, the latter because the fans typically engulf tournament and neutral-site venues. Likewise, the team itself is often referred to as the “Big Blue”. In the 1980s the team was credited with popularizing Midnight Madness.

On April 1, 2009, John Calipari was formally announced as Kentucky’s 22nd men’s head basketball coach, replacing Billy Gillispie.

[hide] *1 Facilities

[1][2]Rupp Arena===[edit]Rupp Arena (1976–present)=== {C}The Kentucky Wildcats presently play their home games in 23,500-seat Rupp Arena, the largest arena in the United States built specifically for basketball. It was opened in 1976 and is named after legendary Kentucky head coachAdolph Rupp . Located off-campus, in downtown Lexington, the facility’s official capacity is 23,500.[5] The Wildcats have consistently led the country in home attendance since the mid 1970s, and in the 2011–12 season, again led the nation in home attendance. This was Kentucky’s 24th National Attendance title since the 1976–77 season, when Rupp Arena first opened. Kentucky is 478-60 (.888) all-time at Rupp Arena through the 2011–12 season.[6]

[edit]Joe Craft Center (2007–present)Edit

In 2007, the university unveiled the Joe Craft Center, a state-of-the-art basketball practice facility and athletics office building attached to the north side of Memorial Coliseum on the “Avenue of Champions” at the University of Kentuckycampus in Lexington, Kentucky.[6] The 102,000 ft² structure contains separate practice courts for the men’s and women’s basketball programs, separate men’s and women’s locker rooms, state-of-the-art video rooms for game film viewing, new coaches offices, a ticket office, and athletic administration offices.[7] As a result, Memorial Coliseum has more ample space for volleyball and gymnastics practice and games.The facility is named after Joe Craft, a Hazard, Kentuckynative, who pledged $6 million towards the completion of the $30 million project.[8][9]

[edit]Memorial Coliseum (1950–76)Edit

Coming off back-to-back national championships, the team moved to Memorial Coliseum in 1950. Nicknamed “The House That Rupp Built”, the multipurpose facility cost $4 million and seated 12,000 people. It also housed a swimming pool, physical education equipment, and offices for the athletics staff. The team occupied Memorial Coliseum for twenty-six seasons, and sold out all 345 home game they played there during that period. Kentucky also played a 2009 NITgame at Memorial Coliseum due to Rupp Arena being booked. The Wildcats are 307-38 (.890) all-time at Memorial Coliseum.[5][6][10]

[edit]Alumni Gymnasium (1924–50)Edit

In 1924, Alumni Gymnasium was completed. It included seating for 2,800 people and cost $92,000 to construct.[11] Kentucky played 271 games at Alumni Gymnasium from 1924 to 1950, going 247-24 (.911).[12][6]

[edit]Woodland Park Auditorium (1914–16)Edit

Woodland Park Auditorium opened in 1906 and closed in 1941 it was located on the corner of East High Street and Kentucky Avenue in Lexington, KY. Kentucky used this facility for home games during World War I between 1914-1916 going 15-7 there all-time.[6][13] {C}[3][4]A 1909 picture of Buell Armory Gymnasium(right side) and Alumni Hall(main building) on the campus of the University of Kentucky===[edit]Buell Armory Gymnasium (1910–24)=== {C}The Wildcats played 84 home games at Buell Armory Gymnasium from 1910 to 1924. It was named for Union Civil War General Don Carlos Buell who was a member of the first board of trustees at Kentucky.[14] The armory was also used during World War I to teach truck maintenance and repair among other skills.[15] Kentucky was 59-25 all-time at Buell Armory Gymnasium.[16] {C}[5][6]State College Gymnasium “The Gymnasium” first home basketball court used by the Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball team in 1902.===[edit]State College Gymnasium (1902–14)=== The first home court for the Wildcats was simply called “The Gymnasium” or State College Gymnasium until 1910. It was located in the north wing of Barker Hall on the university campus. Constructed in 1902, it also housed the university’s physical education classes until 1909. The facility had a capacity of 650 people, and with no bleachers or seats, fans had to stand to watch the games that were played there.[11] By the 1920s, it had become clear that “The Gymnasium” (by then renamed “The Ladies’ Gym”) was inadequate to house the university’s basketball team. Records show Kentucky was 17-14 at State College Gymnasium.[15][6][17]

[edit]Kentucky in the Louisville Metro AreaEdit

The Wildcats have played many neutral site games over the years at many sites in Louisville, KY. They are currently 126–33 all-time in the Louisville Metro Area. Only 18 of the 158 games Kentucky has played in Louisville were vs the Louisville Cardinals with Kentucky going 11–7 in those games. The Wildcats have won 9 SEC championships and an NCAA Championship in the city of Louisville.[6][18]

[edit]Jefferson County Armory (1937-56)Edit

Kentucky played 72 games, all during the Rupp era, at the Jefferson County Armory from 1937 to 1956. The Wildcats were 61–11 all-time at the armory. They won 9 SEC Men’s Basketball TournamentChampionships from 1941 to 1952 at the armory which was renamed the Louisville Gardens in 1975. Kentucky made it to SEC Tournament Championship game all 12 years it was held at the armoury.[19][6]

[edit]Freedom Hall (1958-2012)Edit

The Wildcats have played 78 games from 1958 to 2012 at Freedom Hall. They were 9–6 vs the Louisville Cardinals at Freedom Hall in the Kentucky-Louisville rivalry which was restarted in 1983. Kentucky first played in Freedom Hall in the Final Four of the 1958 NCAA Basketball Tournament, where they won the 1958 NCAA Championship under head coach Adolph Rupp. The Wildcats are 60–18 all-time at Freedom Hall.[20][6]

[edit]Pre-Rupp (1903–1930)Edit

Records indicate that the first head coach of the Wildcats was W.W.H. Mustaine, who in 1903 called together some students, took up a collection totaling $3 for a ball, and told the students to start playing. The first recorded intercollegiate game at the college was a 15–6 defeat to nearby Georgetown College. The team went 1–2 for their first “season,” also losing to Kentucky University (later Transylvania University) but defeating the Lexington YMCA.[22]

Through 1908, the team did not manage a winning season, and had an all-time record of 15–29. In the fall of 1909, the faculty athletic senate voted to abolish the men’s basketball program at Kentucky, due to a poor record and an overcrowded gym. As a reaction to this, the University of Kentucky students presented the board of trustees with a solution to the overcrowding. The plan was for a wooden floor and new lighting to be installed in the Armory. To address the poor record of the past teams, the university’s head football coach, E.R. Sweetland was named head coach. This made him the first paid coach in Kentucky’s basketball history.[23] That year, the team went 5–4, and only three years later, boasted their first undefeated season with nine victories and no losses.[24]

[edit]George Buchheit and the “Wonder Team”Edit

[7][8]The 1921 “Wonder Team”In 1919, George Buchheit became the new head coach of the Wildcats. An alumnus of the University of Illinois, he brought with him a new system of basketball. The “Buchheit system” or “Illinois system,” focused on defense and featured one player standing under each basket, while three roamed the court. Buckheit varied the system he learned in Illinois in one important way. While the Illini employed a zone defense, Buchheit’s system used an aggressive man-to-man scheme. On offense, he used a complicated system of passing called the “zig-zag” or “figure eight” offense.[25]

Although the team had a losing season in Buchheit’s first year, they won the first-ever Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association tournament the next year, defeating the heavily favored Georgia Bulldogs. Both of these teams were composed entirely of native Kentuckians, anchored by All-American Basil Hayden. The tournament victory was considered Kentucky’s first major success, and the 1921 team became known as the “Wonder Team.”[26]

In 1922, the team was unable to build on the success of the “Wonder Team.” Although every player was eligible in 1922, two key players, Hayden and Sam Ridgeway, were injured before the start of the season. Hayden returned from his knee injury during the season, but was never able to play at the level he had the previous year. Ridgeway fought a year-long battle with diphtheria, and although he recovered, never played for the Wildcats again. The remaining three members of the “Wonder Team” went 9–5 for the season, and bowed out of the SIAA tournament in the second round.[27]

[edit]The team faltersEdit

Buchheit remained as coach through the 1924 season before moving on to coach Trinity College (later Duke University.) A different coach would guide the team for
each of the next four years. C.O. Applegranimmediately followed Buchheit, and his 1925 team posted a respectable 13–8 record. The next year, Ray Eklund led the team to a 15–3 record, and produced UK’s second All-American, Burgess Carey.[28]

Seeing the cupboard largely bare for the upcoming year, Eklund resigned shortly before the start of the 1927 season. The team scrambled to find a new coach, and former player Basil Hayden left his coaching job at Kentucky Wesleyan College to answer the call. An inexperienced coach and a roster largely depleted of talent left the Wildcats with a 3–13 record that year. The disappointment convinced Hayden that he wasn’t the “coaching type,” and he resigned after the season. Fortunately for the Wildcats, 1927 would be their last losing season for six decades.[29]

[edit]The MauermenEdit

The Wildcats’ new coach for the 1928 season was John Mauer. Although he had a talented group of players moving up from the junior varsity team, Mauer quickly discovered that his players didn’t know the fundamentals of the game. He began a regimen of three-hour practices five days a week during the preseason. The practice began with half an hour of shooting drills and usually ended with a full-court scrimmage. Between the two, Mauer worked on skill drills and scenarios. Mauer’s teams were nicknamed the “Mauermen.”[30]

Teamwork was the hallmark of Mauer’s system. Every player worked on every aspect of the game; there were no specialists. Like Buchheit, Mauer employed a strong man-to-man defense. He utilized a slow-break offense that relied on a complicated system of short passes to get a good shot. Two elements of Mauer’s system were new to basketball in the south – the offensive screen and the bounce pass. The latter was so new to most of UK’s opponents that it was referred to as the “submarine attack.”[31]

Over his three-year tenure, Mauer led the Wildcats to an overall record of 40–14. One major prize eluded him, however. Despite having teams that were almost universally acknowledged as the “class of the South,” Mauer never led a team to the Southern Conference title. Despite his innate ability for coaching, Mauer lacked the ability to heighten his team’s emotions for a big game, a fault that was cited as the reason for his lack of tournament success. Mauer left the Wildcats to coach the Miami University Redskins following the 1930 season.[32]

[edit]Adolph Rupp (1930–1972)Edit

In 1930, the university hired Adolph Rupp, who had played as a reserve for the University of Kansas 1922 and 1923 Helms National Championship teams,[33] under coach Forest C. “Phog” Allen. At the time of his hiring, Rupp was a high school coach in Freeport, Illinois.

Rupp coached the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team from 1930 to 1972. There, he gained the nicknames, “Baron of the Bluegrass”, and “The Man in the Brown Suit”. Rupp, who was an early innovator of the fast break and set offense, quickly gained a reputation as an intense competitor, a strict motivator, and a fine strategist, often driving his teams to great levels of success. Rupp’s Wildcat teams won 4 NCAA championships (1948, 1949, 1951, 1958), one NIT title in 1946, appeared in 20 NCAA tournaments, had 6 NCAA Final Four appearances, captured 27 Southeastern Conference (SEC) regular season titles, and won 13 SEC tournaments. Rupp’s Kentucky teams also finished ranked No. 1 on 6 occasions in the final Associated Press college basketball poll and 4 times in the United Press International (Coaches) poll. In addition, Rupp’s 1966 Kentucky squad (nicknamed “Rupp’s Runts”, as no starting player on the squad was taller than 6’5″) finished runner-up in the NCAA tournament, and his 1947 Wildcats finished runner-up in the NIT. Further, Rupp’s 1933 and 1954 Kentucky squads were also awarded the Helms National Championship.[3][34][35]

Rupp was the head coach at Kentucky during the year of the point shaving scandal of 1951. On October 20, 1951, former Kentucky players Alex Groza, Ralph Beard, and Dale Barnstable were arrested for taking bribes from gamblers to shave points during the National Invitation Tournament game against the Loyola Ramblers in the 1948–49 season.[36] This game occurred during the same year that Kentucky won their second straight NCAA title under Rupp.[37] Rupp and the university were criticized by the presiding judge, Saul Streit, for creating an atmosphere for the violations to occur and for “failing in his duty to observe the amateur rules, to build character, and to protect the morals and health of his charges”.[38] Rupp denied any knowledge of the point shaving and no evidence was ever brought against him to show he was connected to the incident in any way.[39]

At the conclusion of this scandal, a subsequent NCAA investigation found that Kentucky had committed several rule violations, including giving illegal spending money to players on several occasions, and also allowing some ineligible athletes to compete.[39]As a result, the Southeastern Conference voted to ban Kentucky from competing for a year and the NCAA requested all other basketball-playing members not to schedule Kentucky, with eventually none doing so.[40] As a result of these actions, Kentucky was forced to cancel the entire 1952–53 basketball season. Years later, Walter Byers, the first executive director of the NCAA, unofficially referred to this punishment as the first de facto NCAA death penalty, despite the current rule first coming into effect in 1985, thus the NCAA having no such enforcement power previous to that.[41][42]Echoing Mr. Byers’ view, the NCAA’s official stance is very much the same, and they now state in hindsight, “In effect, it was the Association’s first death penalty, though its enforcement was binding only through constitutional language that required members to compete against only those schools that were compliant with NCAA rules. Despite fears that it would resist, Kentucky accepts the penalty and, in turn, gives the NCAA credibility to enforce its rules.”[43]

The team returned with a vengeance the next year, posting a perfect 25–0 record (Rupp’s only undefeated season), for which it was awarded the 1954 Helms National Championship. In addition, Kentucky also finished ranked #1 in the final Associated Press poll. On the team were three players who had graduated at the conclusion of the previous academic year. When, at the last minute, the NCAA ruled these players ineligible from post-season play, Rupp decided to skip the 1954 NCAA Tournament in protest.[44]

Rupp’s last chance at a 5th NCAA title occurred in the 1965-66 season, with Kentucky going all the way to the NCAA title game. The now historic 1966 NCAA championship game against Texas Western (nowUniversity of Texas-El Paso or UTEP) marked the first occurrence that an all-white starting five (Kentucky) played an all-black starting five (Texas Western) in the NCAA championship game. Texas Western won the game 72–65, on the night of March 19, 1966. This game, and the result of it, were especially significant as the game came at a time when the civil rights movement was coming into full swing around the country. In 1969, after actively recruiting black players for over six years (despite most of the other SEC teams threatening to boycott if a black player took the court), Rupp finally signed his first black player, Tom Payne, an athletic 7′-1″ center out of Louisville. This ended the aspect of all-white Kentucky teams forever, and marked a new era with many notable black Kentucky basketball legends, including Jack Givens, Sam Bowie, Kenny Walker, Jamal Mashburn, Tayshaun Prince, Rajon Rondo, John Wall, and Anthony Davis.[45]

Rupp was forced into retirement in March of 1972, after reaching age 70. At the time, this was the mandatory retirement age for all University of Kentucky employees. He was a 4-time National Coach-of-the-Year award winner, a 7-time Conference Coach-of-the-Year award winner, and was elected a member of both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and College Basketball Hall of Fame.Further, since 1972, theAdolph Rupp Trophy, considered one of the nation’s premier basketball awards, has been given by Commonwealth Athletic Club to the nation’s top men’s college basketball player. In addition, the University of Kentucky retired a jersey in his honor in the rafters of Rupp Arena, a 23,500-seat arena named after him, dedicated in 1976.[3][34]

[edit]Joe B. Hall (1972–1985)Edit

Joe B. Hall was the head basketball coach at Kentucky from 1972 to 1985. Although he had been an assistant at Kentucky since 1965, Coach Hall was given a difficult task: to follow in the footsteps of his legendary predecessor, Adolph Rupp. In the 1978 NCAA Tournament, he coached the Wildcats to their fifth NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship. He was na
med National Coach of the Year in 1978 and SEC Coach of the Year on four different occasions. His record at UK was 297–100, and 373–156 over his career.

Along with the 1978 title, Hall also guided Kentucky to a runner-up finish to UCLA in the 1975 NCAA tournament (which included an upset of heavily-favored and previously undefeated Indiana in a regional final), a Final Four appearance in the 1984 NCAA Tournament (losing to eventual champion Georgetown), and an NIT championship in 1976. He won eight SEC regular season championships and one SEC tournament championship (1984). (In this context, the SEC abolished its conference tournament in 1953 and did not reinstate it until 1979.)

Coach Hall is one of only three men to both play on a NCAA championship team (1949– Kentucky) and coach a NCAA championship team (1978– Kentucky), and the only one to do so for the same school. The only others to achieve this feat are:

[edit]Eddie Sutton (1985–1989)Edit

In 1985, Eddie Sutton succeeded Joe B. Hall. He coached the Wildcats for four years, leading them to the Elite Eight of the 1986 NCAA Tournament. Two seasons later, Sutton and the 25–5 Wildcats captured their 37th SEC title and were ranked as the 6th college basketball team in the nation by the Associated Press and UPI[46][47] before losing to Villanova in the Tournament.

Kentucky entered the 1988–89 season with a gutted roster. Ed Davender, Robert Lock and Winston Bennett had all graduated from school, while All-SEC sophomore Rex Chapman left school early to enter the1988 NBA Draft. Additionally, sophomore standout Eric Manuel was suspected of cheating on his college entrance exam and voluntarily agreed to sit out until the investigation was finished. Potential franchise recruit Shawn Kemp transferred out of Kentucky after signing with the school early that year. Unfortunately, Manuel was forced to sit out the entire season as the investigation dragged on, essentially leaving the Wildcats in the hands of inexperienced sophomore LeRon Ellis and true freshman Chris Mills. The two underclassmen struggled to fill the talent vacuum on the court and the Wildcats finished with a losing record of 13–19, the team’s first losing full-season record since 1927.[47] To add insult to injury, the NCAA announced at the end of the season that its investigation into the basketball program had found the school guilty of violating numerous NCAA policies.[49]

The scandal broke when Emery Worldwide employees discovered $1,000 in cash in an envelope Kentucky assistant coach Dwane Casey sent to Mills’ father.[50] Another player, Eric Manuel, was found to have received improper assistance on his college entrance exams and was banned from NCAA competition. Kentucky was already on probation stemming from an extensive scheme of payments to recruits, and the NCAA seriously considered hitting the Wildcats with the “death penalty”, which would have shut down the entire basketball program (as opposed to simply being banned from postseason play) for up to two years. However, school president David Roselle forced Sutton and athletic director Cliff Hagan to resign. The Wildcats were slapped with three years’ probation, a two-year ban from postseason play and a ban from live television in 1989–90.[51]

[edit]Rick Pitino (1989–1997)Edit

In 1989, Rick Pitino left the NBA‘s New York Knicks and became the coach at a Kentucky program reeling from the aforementioned scandal. Pitino quickly restored Kentucky’s reputation and performance, leading his second school to the Final Four in the 1993 NCAA Tournament, and winning a national title in the 1996 NCAA Tournament, Kentucky’s first NCAA championship in 18 years. The following year, Pitino’s Kentucky team made it back to the national title game, losing to Arizona in overtime in the finals of the 1997 NCAA Tournament. Pitino’s fast-paced teams at Kentucky were favorites of the school’s fans. It was primarily at Kentucky where he implemented his signature style of full-court pressure defense.

Pitino left Kentucky in 1997 to coach the NBA’s Boston Celtics, he then went on to coach Kentucky’s in-state rival, the University of Louisville.

[edit]Orlando “Tubby” Smith (1997–2007)Edit

Orlando “Tubby” Smith was introduced as the Wildcats’ 20th head coach on May 12, 1997, charged with the unenviable task of replacing popular coach Rick Pitino. The Wildcats were at the top of the basketball world at the time, having won a national title in 1996 and, according to many, missing a second straight title in 1997 by the torn ACL of shooting guard Derek Anderson.[52] (Anderson tore his ACL in January against SEC foe Auburn; Kentucky lost the 1997 title game in overtime to the Arizona Wildcats.) The team Smith inherited sported seven players from the Arizona loss, and five from the 1996 championship team. However, since most of the players who had left after the 1996 and 1997 seasons were high NBA draft picks, his team had the lowest pre-season ranking since Kentucky came off probation in 1991.[53]

In his first season at UK, he coached the Wildcats to their seventh NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship, including a come-from-behind victory against Duke in the Elite Eight. His 1998 National Championship is unique in modern times, as being along with 1985 Villanova the 2nd team in over twenty years to win without a First Team All American or future NBA Lottery Pick. (see 1998 NCAA Tournament).

Smith’s teams, known primarily for a defense-oriented slower style of play coined “Tubbyball”, received mixed reviews among Kentucky fans who have historically enjoyed a faster, higher-scoring style of play under previous coaches. Smith was also under pressure from Kentucky fans to recruit better players.

Smith led Kentucky to one National Championship in 1998, a perfect 16–0 regular season conference record in 2003, five SEC regular season championships (1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005) and five SEC Tournament titles (1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004), with six Sweet Sixteen finishes and four Elite Eight finishes (1998, 1999, 2003, 2005) in his ten seasons. He totaled 100 wins quicker than any other Wildcat coach except Hall of Famer Adolph Rupp, reaching the plateau in 130 games. In 2005, he was also named AP Coach of the Year.

Although Smith compiled an impressive resume during his UK career, he came under considerable pressure from many UK fans, who believed that his failure to achieve even a single Final Four appearance in his last nine seasons was inadequate by UK standards. This drought is the longest of any coach in UK history,[54] although Tubby did come just a double-overtime loss short of another Final Four appearance in 2005. On March 22, 2007, Smith resigned his position of UK Head Coach to accept the head coach position at the University of Minnesota.[55]

[edit]Billy Gillispie (2007–2009)Edit

On April 6, 2007, Billy Gillispie was formally announced as the new head coach of the University of Kentucky by UK athletic director Mitch Barnhart. He fielded questions from the media during the press conference held at UK’s new practice facility, the Joe Craft Center. He expressed his excitement and joy to be not only considered for the position but t
o have been given the honor and the opportunity to coach what former UK coach Rick Pitino referred to as the “Roman Empire” of college basketball. “I’m very, very grateful and honored to be here, but we have a lot of work to do.”[56] Gillispie became only the sixth head coach in the last 76 years at the school.[57]

Gillispie’s second season again started out rocky in 2008 as the ‘Cats fell to VMI in their season opener. The second game of the season saw the Wildcats fall to North Carolina by 19 points. UK rebounded to win 11 of their next 12 games, improving their record to 11–3. On January 4, the Wildcats lost a heart breaker to arch rival Louisville 74–71 after a 25 ft. shot by Edgar Sosa with 2.3 seconds remaining in the game. Prior to the shot, UK was down 7 with 38.5 seconds left, and Jodie Meeks was fouled shooting a three, proceeded to make all three free throw shots, Patrick Patterson stole an inbound and passed it to Jodie Meeks who laid it in to bring the game to 71–69 with 29.6 left, and then an inbound pass went long and Jodie Meeks snatched the pass, drove to the hoop and was fouled, and then made both free throws to tie the game at 71 with 22.9 left. So all in all, UK and Jodie Meeks got seven points in about 15 seconds to tie the game.[58] Kentucky disposed of Vanderbilt to win their SEC opener on January 10 70–60. On January 13, in a road game against Tennessee, Jodie Meeks set a new Kentucky scoring record by dropping 54 points on the Volunteers. This total bested Dan Issel‘s 39 year old scoring record by 1 point, and propelled UK to a 90–72 win and 2–0 start in league play.[59] Kentucky followed up this effort with a 68–45 victory at Georgia, improving to 14–4 on the season. With wins over Auburn and Alabama, Kentucky moved to 5–0 in the SEC. On January 26, UK was ranked in the AP Poll (24th) for the first time since week 1 of the 2007–2008 season.[60] UK promptly dropped 3 in a row (to Ole Miss, South Carolina, & Mississippi State) before rebounding at home with a thrilling 68–65 win over Florida. Jodie Meeks scored 23 points in the contest, including the fade-away contested 3 point basket with less than 5 seconds remaining to seal the win for UK. On Valentine’s Day Kentucky handily defeated Arkansas at Bud Walton Arena 79–63 behind another strong performance from Jodie Meeks. Meeks contributed 45 points and helped UK win despite the absence of Patrick Patterson (sprained ankle). With the win, UK remained tied with South Carolina and Tennessee for 1st in the SEC East at 7–3.[61] Following the win UK completely collapsed, losing 5 of its last 6 games to finish the regular season 19–12 with an 8–8 SEC record. Entering the SEC tournament many felt UK would need to win the championship game to get into the NCAA tournament, but UK was defeated in the second game vs. LSU. With an unimpressive regular season and quick elimination in the SEC tournament, UK did indeed miss the NCAA tournament for the first time in 18 years and instead received an invitation to theNIT tournament where the team was defeated in the quarterfinal round against Notre Dame.[62][63]

On March 27, 2009 an 18 minute long meeting occurred between Billy Gillispie, President Dr. Lee Todd, Jr. and Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart, after which it was announced that Gillispie would not be returning as the head coach the next season. Barnhart stressed the firing was due to more than wins and losses, citing “philosophical differences” and “a clear gap in how the rules and responsibilities overseeing the program are viewed”.[64]

[edit]John Calipari (2009–present)Edit

On April 1, 2009, John Calipari replaced Billy Gillispie as the Wildcats head coach. To begin his tenure at the University of Kentucky, John Calipari signed one of the best all time recruiting classes.[65] The class was headlined by four five-star recruits: John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Daniel Orton, and Eric Bledsoe.[66] On December 19, 2009, the Wildcats defeated Austin Peay 90–69 extending their record to 11–0, and John Calipari broke Adolph Rupp’s record for the most consecutive wins to start a season for a first-year head coach at Kentucky. Kentucky defeated the Drexel Dragons 88–44 on December 21, 2009 to become the first program in college basketball history to claim their 2000th victory.[67] By January 25, 2010, Co
ach “Cal” had the University of Kentucky ranked No. 1 in both the ESPN/Coaches poll and AP poll with a record of 19–0.[68] By this point, these feats were not even considered his greatest accomplishment at the school,[citation needed] as John Calipari had raised in excess of $1.5 million to aid the country of Haiti during the aftermath of a natural disaster. President Barack Obama called the Wildcats to thank them for their relief efforts and wish them luck in their future endeavors. To finish off the 2009–10 regular season, Kentucky won its 44th SEC regular season championship (with a final 14–2 SEC record), and won its 26th SEC Tournament Championship, beating Mississippi State in the finals. The Wildcats then received a No. 1 seed (their 10th No. 1 seed in history) in the East Regional of the NCAA Tournament, where they eventually lost to West Virginia in the Elite Eight. This also marked Kentucky’s record 50th NCAA Tournament appearance.

In 2011 he led the Wildcats to their 27th SEC Tournament Title. He led them to to a No. 4 seed on the East regional where they knocked off No. 1 seed Ohio State and No. 2 seed North Carolina on their way to the school’s 14th Final Four. They lost in the Final Four to eventual National Champion No. 3 seed UConn 56–55.

In the 2011-2012 season, he led Kentucky to being 16-0 in SEC regular season play, clenching its 45th SEC regular season championship. The last team to do so in the SEC was the 2002-2003 Kentucky Wildcats, and before that, the 1995-1996 Kentucky Wildcats. Kentucky’s regular season record was 30-1, with its only loss being by one point coming from a 3-pointer buzzer-beater by Indiana University’s Christian Watford at Indiana University’s Assembly Hall on December 10, 2011. In the SEC Tournament, Kentucky fell to Vanderbilt in the championship game, making its overall record 32-2 going into the NCAA Tournament. Kentucky was both selected as the No. 1 seed in the South Region and also the No. 1 seed overall of the entire NCAA Tournament. On March 25th, 2012, Kentucky won the South Regional, setting up a Final Four semifinal with the University of Louisville. Calipari’s Wildcats defeated the Louisville Cardinals (coached by former Kentucky Wildcat coach Rick Pitino) by a score of 69-61. This sent Kentucky to the National Championship game against the University of Kansas Jayhawks, where they defeated Kansas 67-59, winning UK’s 8th NCAA championship, along with John Calipari’s first NCAA Championship as a head coach. Since beginning as head coach at the University Kentucky starting in 2009, Calipari has not lost a single home game, now winning 51 in a row in Rupp Arena.

[edit]John Calipari’s Record at KentuckyEdit

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
John Calipari

(Southeastern Conference)(2009–present)

2009–10 Kentucky 35–3 14-2 1st (East) NCAA Elite Eight
2010–11 Kentucky 29–9 10–6 2nd (East) NCAA Final Four
2011–12 Kentucky 38–2 16–0 1st NCAA Champions
John Calipari: 102–14 40–8
Total: 102–14 (.879)
National champion Conference regular season champion Conference tournament champion Conference regular season and conference tournament champion Conference division champion

[edit]Season by season resultsEdit

For complete season-by-season results, see List of Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball seasons.==[edit]Coaches== {C}See also: List of Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball head coachesThe Wildcats have had 22 coaches in their 109-year history. John Calipari is the current coach. To date, 6 Wildcat coaches have won the National Coach of the Year award: Adolph Rupp in 1950, 1954, 1959 and 1966, Joe B. Hall in 1978, Eddie Sutton in 1986, Rick Pitino in 1990 and 1992, Tubby Smith in 1998, 2003, and 2005, and John Calipari in 2010. Additionally, 7 Wildcat coaches have been named Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year: Adolph Rupp in 1964, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971 and 1972, Joe B. Hall in 1973, 1975, 1978 and 1983, Eddie Sutton in 1986, Rick Pitino in 1990, 1991 and 1996, Tubby Smith in 1998, 2003, and 2005, Billy Gillispie in 2008, and John Calipari in 2010 and 2012.[2]

Postseason resultsEdit

[edit]National championshipsEdit

The following is a list of Kentucky’s 8 National Championships:

Year Coach Opponent Score Record
1948 Adolph Rupp Baylor 58–42 36–3
1949 Adolph Rupp Oklahoma State 46–36 32–2
1951 Adolph Rupp Kansas State 68–58 32–2
1958 Adolph Rupp Seattle 84–72 23–6
1978 Joe B. Hall Duke 94–88 30–2
1996 Rick Pitino Syracuse 76–67 34–2
1998 Tubby Smith Utah 78–69 35–4
2012 John Calipari Kansas 67-59 38–2
National Championships 8
1948 NCAA Tournament Results

Round Opponent Score
Elite 8 Columbia 76–51
Final 4 Holy Cross 60- 35
Championship Baylor 58–40
1949 NCAA Tournament Results

Round Opponent Score
Elite 8 Villanova 85–72
Final 4 Illinois 76–47
Championship Oklahoma State 46–36
1951 NCAA Tournament Results

Round Opponent Score
Sweet 16 Louisville 79–68
Elite 8 St. John’s 59–43
Final 4 Illinois 76–74
Championship Kansas State 68–58
1958 NCAA Tournament Results

Round Opponent Score
Sweet 16 Miami (OH) 94–70
Elite 8 Notre Dame 89–56
Final 4 Temple 61–60
Championship Seattle 84–72
1978 NCAA Tournament Results

Round Opponent Score
Round No. 1 Florida State 85–76
Sweet 16 Miami (OH) 91–69
Elite Eight Michigan State 52–49
Final 4 Arkansas 64–59
Championship Duke 94–88
1996 NCAA Tournament Results

Round Opponent Score
Round No. 1 San Jose State 110–72
Round No. 2 Virginia Tech 84–60
Sweet 16 Utah 101–70
Elite 8 Wake Forest 83–63
Final 4 UMass 81–74
Championship Syracuse 76–67
1998 NCAA Tournament Results

Round Opponent Score
Round No. 1 South Carolina State 82–67
Round No. 2 Saint Louis 88–61
Sweet 16 UCLA 94–68
Elite 8 Duke 86–84
Final 4 Stanford 86–85 OT
Championship Utah 78–69
2012 NCAA Tournament Results

Round Opponent Score
Round No. 2 Western Kentucky 81–66
Round No. 3 Iowa State 87–71
Sweet 16 Indiana 102–90
Elite 8 Baylor 82–70
Final 4 Louisville 69–61
Championship Kansas 67–59

[edit]Final Four historyEdit

1942-Semifinalist 1948-Champion 1949-Champion 1951-Champion
1958-Champion 1966-Finalist 1975-Finalist 1978-Champion
1984-Semifinalist 1993-Semifinalist 1996-Champion 1997-Finalist
1998-Champion 2011-Semifinalist 2012-Champion

[edit]NCAA Tournament Seeding HistoryEdit

The NCAA began seeding the tournament with the 1979 edition.

Years → ’80 ’81 ’82 ’83 ’84 ’85 ’86 ’87 ’88 ’89 ’90 ’91 ’92 ’93 ’94 ’95 ’96 ’97 ’98 ’99 ’00 ’01 ’02 ’03 ’04 ’05 ’06 ’07 ’08 ’09 ’10 ’11 ’12
Seeds → 1 2 6 3 1 12 1 8 2 2 1 3 1 1 1 2 2 5 2 4 1 1 2 8 8 11 1 4 1

[edit]Retired jerseysEdit

See also: Honored Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball playersPlayers:

Basil Hayden Carey Spicer Forest Sale John DeMoisey No. 00 Adrian Smith No. 50
Layton Rouse No. 26 Ken Rollins No. 10 Alex Groza No. 15 Ralph Beard No. 12
Wallace Jones No. 27 Cliff Barker No. 23 Bill Spivey No. 77 Cliff Hagan No. 6
Frank Ramsey No. 30 Lou Tsioropoulos No. 16 Billy Evans No. 42 Gayle Rose No. 20
Jerry Bird No. 22 Phil Grawemeyer No. 44 Bob Burrow No. 52 Vernon Hatton No. 50
Johnny Cox No. 24 Cotton Nash No. 44 Louie Dampier No. 10 Pat Riley No. 42
Dan Issel No. 44 Kevin Grevey No. 35 Jack “Goose” Givens No. 21 Rick Robey No. 53
Kyle Macy No. 4 Sam Bowie No. 31 Kenny “Sky” Walker No. 34 Deron Feldhaus No. 12
John Pelphrey No. 34 Richie Farmer No. 32 Sean Woods No. 11 Jamal Mashburn No. 24


Adolph Rupp Joe B. Hall Rick Pitino


Cawood Ledford (radio commentator) Bill “Mr. Wildcat” Keightley (equipment manager)

[edit]Wildcats in the NBAEdit

G Eric Bledsoe 6’1″ 190 Birmingham, AL 2010 18th 0 0 Los Angeles Clippers
G Keith Bogans 6’5″ 215 Washington, D.C. 2003 43rd 0 0 New Jersey Nets
C DeMarcus Cousins 6’11” 270 Mobile, AL 2010 5th 0 0 Sacramento Kings
C Josh Harrellson 6’11” 275 St. Charles, MO 2011 45th 0 0 New York Knicks
F-C Chuck Hayes 6’6″ 238 Modesto, CA 2005 UD 0 0 Sacramento Kings
C Enes Kanter* 6’11” 255 Istanbul, Turkey 2011 3rd 0 0 Utah Jazz
G Brandon Knight 6’3″ 189 Ft. Lauderdale, FL 2011 8th 0 0 Detroit Pistons
G-F DeAndre Liggins 6’6″ 195 Chicago, IL 2011 53rd 0 0 Orlando Magic
C Jamaal Magloire 6’11” 265 Toronto, Ontario 2000 19th 1 (2004) 0 Toronto Raptors
G Jodie Meeks 6’4″ 208 Norcross, GA 2009 41st 0 0 Philadelphia 76ers
C Nazr Mohammed 6’10” 238 Chicago, IL 1998 29th 0 1 (2005 San Antonio) Oklahoma City Thunder
C Daniel Orton 6’10” 255 Oklahoma City, OK 2010 29th 0 0 Orlando Magic
F Patrick Patterson 6’9″ 235 Huntington, WV 2010 14th 0 0 Houston Rockets
F Tayshaun Prince 6’9″ 215 Compton, CA 2002 23rd 0 1 (2004 Detroit) Detroit Pistons
G Rajon Rondo 6’1″ 176 Louisville, KY 2006 21st 3 (2010, 2011, 2012) 1 (2008 Boston) Boston Celtics
G John Wall 6’4″ 195 Raleigh, NC 2010 1st 0 0 Washington Wizards
  • Though he never played a game at Kentucky, Enes Kanter did attend the University for one-full academic year. He also was a part of the men’s basketball team as a student assistant after it was announced he was ineligible by the NCAA.

[edit]Memorable teamsEdit

  • The Fabulous Five: The 1948 team not only won the NCAA title, but provided the core of the United States 1948 Olympic team that won the gold medal in the London Games.
  • The 1954 Undefeated Team, which went 25–0 in the regular season and defeated LSU in a playoff to earn the Southeastern Conference bid to the NCAA tournament. However, several of the team’s players had technically graduated during the 1954 season and were prohibited from tournament play. Despite the wishes of the players, Rupp refused to allow the team to play in the tournament, thus leading to the team’s reputation as one of the best teams ever to fail to win
    an NCAA title.[69]
  • The Fiddlin’ Five: The 1958 team was given its nickname by Rupp due to his perception that they tended to “fiddle” early in games. However, they would right their ship in time to give Rupp his fourth and last national title.
  • Rupp’s Runts: The 1966 team, with no starter taller than 6’5″, was arguably the most beloved in UK history. Despite its lack of size, it used devastating defensive pressure and a fast-paced offense to take a 27–1 record and top national ranking into the NCAA final against Texas Western. With the Kentucky team devastated by the flu, however, the Miners would deny Rupp another title. For more details on the game, see the articles for Rupp and the Miners’ coach, Don Haskins. Future NBA coach and Hall-of Famer Pat Riley was a starter on this team. So was ABA and NBA star Louie Dampier. Both players were named All-Americans in 1966. Sportscaster Larry Conley was also a starter, along with Tom Kron and Thad Jaracz. All five starters were All-SEC selections in 1966.
  • “The Season Without Celebration”: Going into the 1978 season, the Wildcats faced perhaps the most suffocating expectations of any UK team. As freshmen, that year’s senior class lost in the 1975 final toUCLA in John Wooden‘s final game as the Bruins’ head coach. The seniors had an outstanding supporting cast, and most Kentucky fans would have accepted nothing less than a national title. Despite its successful run to the title, the team was widely criticized, especially by its own fans, for being too serious and focused, giving rise to the “season without celebration” moniker. Much of the criticism was directed at Head Coach Joe B. Hall, who felt under tremendous pressure from fans and boosters to win the championship, and didn’t let up in his quest.
  • The Unforgettables: This refers to the 1992 team, and more specifically, to the team’s four seniors, Richie Farmer, Deron Feldhaus, John Pelphrey, and Sean Woods. During their senior year, after a two-year absence from postseason play due to NCAA probation, they led the Cats to a deep run in the NCAA tournament, losing 104–103 in the East Regional final to Duke in an overtime game often called the greatest game in NCAA basketball history.[3][4] Adding to the team’s popularity was the fact that three (Farmer, Feldhaus, Pelphrey) of the four seniors were from small towns in the eastern half of Kentucky. The quartet’s jerseys (not their numbers) were retired by UK immediately after the Duke loss; it is very unusual for any team to retire a jersey so quickly after a player’s career is finished.
  • Mardi Gras Miracle: Although the 1994 season would be quite a disappointment in terms of the NCAA Tournament (only non-probation year Pitino failed to take the Cats to at least the Elite Eight), this season is best known for the Wildcats’ 31-point comeback at LSU. Down 68–37 with less than sixteen minutes left in the game, Kentucky outscored LSU 62–27 to win 99–95 in one of the greatest comebacks in NCAA basketball history.[5]
  • The Untouchables: The 1996 team was arguably the most talented team in UK basketball history, and quite possibly in NCAA history, with nine players who would eventually play in the NBA:

This team became the first SEC team in 40 years to go through SEC regular season undefeated. Kentucky would repeat this feat in 2003 and 2012. After losing in the SEC Tournament final against Mississippi State, Kentucky would make a dominating run to the Final Four. They avenged an early-season loss to UMass in the NCAA National Semifinals, and then defeated the Syracuse in the NCAA Championship game. Many of the players on this great Kentucky team returned the following season.

  • The Unbelievables: The 1997 team just missed repeating as NCAA Champions when they lost to Arizona in overtime in the NCAA Championship game. The nickname comes from the fact that early on in the season, very few UK fans gave Kentucky much of a chance of repeating their magical 1996 season. This nickname also gained in importance as the team only had 9 available players for the 1997 NCAA Tournament, largely to to due to injury, NBA draft picks, and transfers.
  • The Comeback Cats: The 1998 NCAA National Champions, in head coach Tubby Smith‘s first year at Kentucky, earned this nickname in their last three games. In the South Regional final against Duke, they gained a measure of payback against Duke for the 1992 defeat, coming back from a 17-point deficit with 9:38 remaining. In the national semifinal, they came back from a double-digit halftime deficit again, this time against Stanford. In the final against Utah, they became the first team to come back from a double-digit halftime deficit in the final game.:
  • The Draft Cats: The 2010 team just missed the Final Four when they lost to West Virginia in the Elite Eight. The name comes from the 2010 NBA Draft when they set a record with five players being drafted from the same school in the first round. These players were: John Wall (1st selection), DeMarcus Cousins (5th), Patrick Patterson (14th), Eric Bledsoe (18th), and Daniel Orton (29th).
  • The Undeniables: [70] The 2012 NCAA National Champions, coached by head coach John Calipari, in his third year at Kentucky, earned this nickname due
    to their remarkable teamwork and overall quest for a NCAA Championship. For much of the season the team was ranked #1 in both the major polls, and also went undefeated in SEC regular season conference play (16-0). Kentucky stormed to the program’s 8th NCAA Tournament Championship, winning their six NCAA Tournament games by an average of 10 points and never trailing in the second half. The team set an NCAA record with 38 wins in a season, and finished with a final ranking of #1 in both major polls. [71]

[edit]Three point streakEdit

The Wildcats have gone 828 consecutive games (non-exhibition) with at least one three-point field goal made,[72] as of April 2nd, 2012, the third longest such streak in the nation. Only UNLV and Vanderbilt have a longer active such streak in men’s college basketball.

[edit]Kentucky basketball cumulative all time statisticsEdit

  • All Time Wins: 2090 (NCAA rank #1)[73]
  • All Time Winning Percentage: .763 (NCAA rank #1)[73]
  • NCAA Championships: 8 (NCAA rank #2)[74]
  • NCAA Championship Game Appearances: 11 (NCAA rank #2)[74]
  • NCAA Final Four Appearances: 15 (NCAA rank #3)[74]
  • NCAA Final Four Games Played: 26 (NCAA rank #4)[74]
  • NCAA Final Four Wins: 19 (NCAA rank #2)[74]
  • NCAA Elite-8 Appearances: 34 (NCAA rank #1)[74]
  • NCAA Sweet-16 Appearances: 39 (NCAA rank #1)[3]
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances: 52 (NCAA rank #1)[74]
  • NCAA Tournament Wins: 111 (NCAA rank #1)[74]
  • NCAA Tournament Games Played: 157 (NCAA rank #1)[74]
  • NCAA Tournament Winning Percentage: .707 (NCAA rank #5)[74]
  • Total Postseason Tournament Appearances (NCAA and NIT): 60 (NCAA rank #1)[74]
  • NBA Draft Picks: 100 (NCAA rank #1)[34]
  • All-Americans: 55 (NCAA rank #1)[75]
  • All-American Total Selections: 85 (NCAA rank #1)[75]
  • First Team Consensus All-Americans: 19 (NCAA rank #2)[76]
  • First Team Consensus All-American Total Selections: 24 (NCAA rank #4)[76]
  • AP Poll Top-20/25 Weeks Ranked All Time: 783 (NCAA rank #2)[77]
  • AP Poll Top-10 Weeks Ranked All Time: 624 (NCAA rank #1)[77]
  • AP Poll Top-5 Weeks Ranked All Time: 415 (NCAA rank #1)[77]
  • AP Poll No. 1 Weeks Ranked All Time: 99 (NCAA rank #4)[77]
  • Final AP Poll Top-25 Finishes: 48 (NCAA rank #1)[73]
  • Final AP Poll Top-20 Finishes: 48 (NCAA rank #1)[73]
  • Final AP Poll Top-15 Finishes: 43 (NCAA rank #1)[73]
  • Final AP Poll Top-10 Finishes: 40 (NCAA rank #1)[73]
  • Final AP Poll Top-5 Finishes: 28 (NCAA rank #1)[73]
  • Final AP Poll #1 Finishes: 9 (NCAA rank #1)[73]
  • Final UPI/Coaches’ Poll Top-25 Finishes: 46 (NCAA rank #1)[73]
  • Final UPI/Coaches’ Poll Top-20 Finishes: 45 (NCAA rank #1)[73]
  • Final UPI/Coaches’ Poll Top-15 Finishes: 42 (NCAA rank #1)[73]
  • Final UPI/Coaches’ Poll Top-10 Finishes: 38 (NCAA rank #1)[73]
  • Final UPI/Coaches’ Poll Top-5 Finishes: 29 (NCAA rank #1)[73]
  • Final UPI/Coaches’ Poll #1 Finishes: 8 (NCAA rank #1)[73]
  • 20-Win Seasons: 56 (NCAA rank #1)[76]
  • 25-Win Seasons: 31 (NCAA rank #2)[76]
  • 30-Win Seasons: 13 (NCAA rank #1)[76]
  • 35-Win Seasons: 5 (NCAA rank #1)[76]
  • Average Victories Per Season Played: 19.1743119266 (NCAA rank #3)[78]
  • Average Losses Per Season Played: 5.95412844036 (NCAA rank #1)[73]
  • Total Winning Seasons: 92 (NCAA rank #2)[76]
  • Total Non-Losing Seasons (.500 or better): 95 (NCAA rank #2)[76]
  • Total Coaches With a NCAA Championship Game Appearance: 5 (NCAA rank #1)[74]
  • Total Coaches With a Final Four Appearance: 5 (NCAA rank #2)[74]
  • Total Decades With a NCAA Championship Game Appearance: 6 (NCAA rank #2)[74]
  • Total Decades With a Final Four Appearance: 7 (NCAA rank #1)[74]
  • Total Coaches With a NCAA Championship: 5 (NCAA rank #1)[74]
  • Total Decades With a NCAA Championship: 5 (NCAA rank #1)[74]
  • Total Decades #1 in Total Wins (since 1930): 1 (NCAA rank #2)[73]
  • Total Decades Top-5 in Total Wins (since 1930): 4 (NCAA rank #1)[73]
  • Total Decades Top-10 in Total Wins (since 1930): 7 (NCAA rank #1)[73]
  • Total Decades #1 in Winning Percentage (since 1930): 2 (NCAA rank #1)[73]
  • Total Decades Top-5 in Winning Percentage (since 1930): 6 (NCAA rank #1)[73]
  • Total Decades Top-10 in Winning Percentage (since 1930): 7 (NCAA rank #1)[73]
  • Conference Regular Season Championships: 47 (NCAA rank #2)[3]
  • Conference Tournament Championships: 28 (NCAA rank #1)[3]
  • National Attendance Titles: 24 (NCAA rank #1)[73]

(Of the 58 major categories listed above, Kentucky is #1 in 40 of them, #2 in 12 of them, #3 in 2 of them, #4 in 3 of them, and #5 in 1 of them.)

Kentucky can also lay claim to several individual achievements for both players and coaches:

  • 13 players winning NBA Championships a total of 18 times
  • 10 players named NBA All-Star a total of 17 times
  • 11 Olympic Gold Medal winners
  • 8 Naismith Hall-of-Fame members
  • 5 players named National Player-of-the-Year
  • 6 head coaches named National Coach-of-the Year a total of 12 times
  • 7 head coaches named SEC Coach-of-the-Year a total of 21 times
  • 131 players named All-Conference a total of 224 times
  • 77 players named All-Conference Tournament a total of 113 times
  • 12 players named Conference Player-of-the-Year a total of 14 times
  • 14 players named Conference Tournament MVP a total of 15 times
  • 18 players named All-NCAA Final Four a total of 21 times
  • 48 players named All-NCAA Regional a total of 62 times
  • 11 players named NCAA Regional Most Outstanding Player a total of 12 times
  • 5 players named NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player a total of 6 times
  • 72 players who played in the NBA at least one season
  • 60 1000-point scorers
  • 42 players named McDonald’s All-American
  • 11 #1 Seeds in the NCAA Tournament[2][34]

Kentucky also holds several other NCAA records and various additional accomplishments:

  • Kentucky has 2 NIT Titles (1946, 1976), 2 Helms Titles (1933, 1954), 2 undefeated seasons (1912, 1954), and 5 Sugar Bowl Tournament Championships (1937, 1939, 1949, 1956, 1963).[2]
  • Kentucky holds the NCAA record for Consecutive Non-Losing Seasons (60), for Consecutive Home Court Victories (129), and for Total Victories in a Season (38).[73]
  • Kentucky plays in the nation’s largest basketball arena (Rupp Arena, capacity: 23,500), and has both the nation’s largest radio and television affiliate networks.[2][3]
  • Kentucky has made a 3-point basket in 828 consecutive games (3rd-most all time), is the only school to have multiple NCAA (8) and NIT (2) Championships, is the only school to have 5 different NCAA Championship coaches, and is the only school to win multiple NCAA Championships in 3 different decades.[73]
  • Kentucky has played before the largest regulation basketball game crowd in history (79,129), and the largest Final Four crowd in history (75,421).[73][3]
  • Kentucky was the first school (in 2010) to have 5 players selected in the 1st-Round of the NBA Draft, has the player who has played in the most games (152) in NCAA Division I Basketball history, and was also the first school to reach both the 1000-win and 2000-win victory plateaus.[73][3]
  1. ^
    2011–12 NCAA Final Four Records Book
  2. ^ a b c d e 2011-12 University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball Media Guide
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i
  4. ^ 2011-12 NCAA Men’s Basketball Records Book
  5. ^ a b Nelli, p. 7
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Kentucky Wildcats Official Athletic Site – Men’s Basketball
  7. ^ “Basketball Practice Facility.” 2005 February 2005. University of Kentucky. 14 Dec. 2006 [1].
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Kentucky’s Memorial Coliseum Record
  11. ^ a b Nelli, p. 6
  12. ^ Kentucky’s Alumni Gymnasium Record
  13. ^ Kentucky’s Woodland Auditorium Record
  14. ^ Buell, Don Carlos
  15. ^ a b 10. Gymnasium and Armory University of Kentucky Libraries
  16. ^ Kentucky’s Buell Armory Gymnasium Record
  17. ^ Kentucky’s State College Gymnasium Record
  18. ^ Kentucky in the Louisville Metro Area
  19. ^ Kentucky’s Jefferson County Armory Record
  20. ^ Kentucky’s Freedom Hall Record
  21. ^ a b “All-Time UK Coaches”. UK Athletics. Archived from the original on May 16, 2007. Retrieved September 15, 2007.
  22. ^ Nelli, p. 14
  23. ^ Stanly, Gregory Kent, “Before Big Blue – Sports at the University of Kentucky 1880–1940,” (The University Press of Kentucky, 1996), p. 115-116, ISBN 0-8131-1991-X.
  24. ^ Nelli, p. 15
  25. ^ Nelli, pp. 15–17
  26. ^ Nelli, pp. 17–20
  27. ^ Nelli, p. 21
  28. ^ Nelli, pp. 22–23
  29. ^ Nelli, p. 23
  30. ^ Nelli, pp. 24–25
  31. ^ Nelli, pp
    . 27–28
  32. ^ Nelli, pp. 29–30
  33. ^ “KU Basketball: 1922-1923”. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  34. ^ a b c d
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  36. ^ “O’Connor Asks Leniency, Praises ‘Co-Operation'”. The Lexington Herald. 1952-04-30. Retrieved 2012-01-08.
  37. ^ Goldstein, Joe (2003-11-19). “Explosion: 1951 scandals threaten college hoops”. ESPN. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  38. ^ Associated Press (1952-04-30). Retrieved 2012-01-08.
  39. ^ a b Breslin, Jimmy (March 1953). “Kentucky Apologizes for Nothing!”. Sports Magazine. Retrieved 2012-01-08.
  40. ^ “UK Suspended from SEC Basketball For One Year”. The Lexington Herald. 1952-08-12. Retrieved 2012-01-08.
  41. ^ Byers, Walter (1995). “Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Exploiting College Athletics”. University of Michigan Press.
  42. ^ ESPN (2009). College Basketball Encyclopedia: The Complete History of the Men’s Game. New York: Random House Publishing Group. pp. 236. ISBN 978-0-345-51392-2.
  43. ^ “NCAA Chronology of Enforement”. NCAA. Retrieved Jan 9, 2012.
  44. ^ 1953–54 Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball team
  45. ^ “Adolph Rupp: Fact and Fiction”. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  46. ^ Scott, Jon. “Statistics for 1987–88”. Kentucky Wildcats Basketball Page. Retrieved July 2, 2008.
  47. ^ a b Scott, Jon. “Kentucky Teams of the Past”. Kentucky Wildcats Basketball Page. Retrieved July 3, 2008.
  48. ^ Drum, Keith (November 16, 1988). “Commentary”. United Press International.
  49. ^ Rhoden, William C. (May 20, 1989). “Kentucky’s Basketball Program And 2 Players Heavily Penalized”. The New York Times. Retrieved July 14, 2008.
  50. ^ York, Michael. “Kentucky Loves Its Basketball, but Not at Any PriceThe Washington Post, December 11, 1988.
  51. ^ Kirkpatrick, Curry. Dodging a Bullet. Sports Illustrated, May 29, 1989.
  52. ^ “Kentucky”. ESPN. November 2, 2000. Retrieved January 12, 2007.
  53. ^ Shannon, Kelley. “Final Four coaches savor first-time experience”. South Coast Today. Retrieved January 12, 2007.
  54. ^ Davis, Ken. “Tubby should keep job, despite spoiled fans”.MSNBC. Retrieved September 11, 2007.
  55. ^ “ESPN – Smith leaving Kentucky to coach Minnesota – Men’s College Basketball”. March 23, 2007. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  56. ^ “Gillispie “Honored” To Be New UK Coach”. Associated Press.WLEX-TV. April 6, 2007. Retrieved April 6, 2007.
  57. ^ McMurray, Jeffrey (April 6, 2007). “UK Names Billy Gillispie New Head Basketball Coach”. WKYT-TV. Retrieved April 6, 2007.
  58. ^ 4:30 PM ET, January 4, 2009Freedom Hall, Louisville, KY (January 4, 2009). “Kentucky Wildcats vs. Louisville Cardinals – Recap – January 4, 2009 – ESPN”. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  59. ^ “Kentucky Wildcats vs. Tennessee Volunteers – Recap – January 13, 2009 – ESPN”. January 13, 2009. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  60. ^ “NCAA College Basketball Polls, College Basketball Rankings, NCAA Basketball Polls – ESPN”. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  61. ^ “Kentucky Wildcats vs. Arkansas Razorbacks – Recap – February 14, 2009 – ESPN”. February 14, 2009. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  62. ^ “Real Insight. Real Fans. Real Conversations”. Sporting News. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  63. ^ Tom Coyne (March 25, 2009). “Harangody leads Notre Dame past Kentucky | The Journal Gazette | Fort Wayne, IN”. The Journal Gazette. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  64. ^ “Billy Gillispie out as coach of Kentucky Wildcats in second season – ESPN”. March 28, 2009. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  65. ^ Mike DeCourcy (May 19, 2009). “With Wall, Kentucky could have all-time recruiting class – NCAA Basketball”. Sporting News. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  66. ^ “Yahoo Sports: 2009 Kentucky Commitments”. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  67. ^ “No. 3 Kentucky beats Drexel to reach 2,000 wins”. Lexington, Kentucky: Time Warner Company. December 21, 2009. Retrieved December 22, 2009.
  68. ^ [2][dead link]
  69. ^ Wallace, Tom (October 15, 2002). “UK in the NCAA”. Kentucky Basketball Encyclopedia. Sports Publishing LLC. p. 353.ISBN 1582615691.
  70. ^
  71. ^
  72. ^ UK-Arkansas Razorbacks game notes from ukathletics.comRetrieved February 14, 2009.
  73. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z 2011–12 NCAA Men’s Basketball Records Book
  74. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q 2011–12 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four Records Book
  75. ^ a b 2011–12 University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball Fact Book
  76. ^ a b c d e f g h ESPN College Basketball Encyclopedia
  77. ^ a b c d
  78. ^ 2011-12 NCAA Men’s Basketbal Records Book


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