On This Date In UK History

Special Thanks To Big Blue Booyah

January 29th

was the beginning of the longest winning streak (33) in the history of hallowed Rupp Arena, as #14 UK took out Mississippi, 96-78. Big Blue got out to a fast lead and by halftime led by 21 points. Super sophomore Jamal Mashburn led the way for the Good Guys with 24 points and 7 rebounds; John Pelphrey added 16 points and 8 rebounds on 7-9 shooting. Head coach Richard Pitino wanted to do one thing when he took the reigns at Kentucky. He wanted to make Rupp Arena of the most feared places to play in college basketball. Pitino succeeded in doing just that as his overall record was a snappy 107-7 at Rupp as the head coach of Kentucky. The previous game had Nolan Richardson and his “40 Minutes of Hell” come in and pound The Unforgettables 105-88. We wouldn’t lose again until Arkansas came calling over two years later. Richard ultimately lost his last game at Rupp as UK’s coach, snapping a 27-game home win streak in a loss to South Carolina.

January 28th

your #9 University of Kentucky Wildcats head basketball coach, Adolph Rupp, became the all-time winningest coach in college basketball history. Actually, we’ll call it, “in the history of the World.” And although the game wasn’t necessarily close, it was exciting for the fans in Baton Rouge. The 121-95 win for the Cats was the first time they had the opportunity to face one “Pistol” Pete Maravich. The Pistol finished his first ever game versus Kentucky with 52 points and 11 rebounds. Big Blue countered with 58% shooting on 90 shots from the field. This included a quartet of solid games: Mike Casey (31 points - 10 rebounds), Dan Issel (17 points - 14 rebounds), Mike Pratt (18 points - 12 rebounds), Thad Jaracz (24 points - 7 rebounds). While the victory was well and good, years later it was discovered that Adolph Rupp actually achieved the feat on February 18,1967, in a 103-74 win over Mississippi State.

January 27th

the most dominant junior varsity member in the past 30 years hit the shot heard round the Bluegrass, as Nazr Mohammed threw up a running prayer to steal a game in Nashville. With the game tied at 61, Scott Padgett in-bounded the basketball to Jeff Sheppard who threw a 60-foot cross-court diagonal pass to Mohammed, who turned, looked at the clock and let go with 0.01 seconds. It was easily one of the more awkward looking shots in the history of basketball, but it was OUR awkward looking shot, and that’s all that mattered. Almost as good as the shot was the celebration of the staff and players. As soon as the clock expired, everyone in Camp Lexington sprinted off the court (check Tubby out in the 2nd video, he looks like he’s in Pamplona running with the bulls). This left the Vanderbilt players and fans stunned and shocked with their mouths open wondering, “What the hell just happened here?” Sheppard led the #7 Cats with 20 points on the night, Padgett added 12 points and 7 rebounds. Nazr, the Man of the Night, finished an efficient 4-5 from the field for 8 points - 2 rebounds - 2 blocks. The win moved the #7 Cats to 19-2 on what would end up being a decent season.

January 26th

your University of Kentucky Wildcats and The Breakfast of Champions, Wheaties, announced a special-edition package coming out to honor the most storied basketball program in all the land. Kentucky became just the ninth school ever to be put on a box of Wheaties. The display side of the box featured the floor of famed Rupp Arena on the front alongside the “UK” logo. The back of box featured the team cutting down the nets during one of our SEVEN National Championships, and Scratch the mascot. Head coach Tubby Smith displayed a giant version of the Wheaties box at a press conference during a mid-week presser. (In the meantime, his agent was working behind the scenes to see if any other University was looking for a basketball coach......OOOOOOOOO...Hisssssssssssss). Other schools to be featured on Wheaties: Georgia, Texas, Texas Western, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Michigan, Northwestern, and Texas A&M.

January 25th

a Rupp Arena scoring record was set when a Naval cadet by the name of David Robinson made his way to Rupp Arena and put on a show for the Wildcat faithful. The unranked Cats held on, though, for the 80-69 upset of #19 Navy. The Admiral was an insane 17-22 from the field and finished the game with a triple-double: 45 points - 14 rebounds - 10 blocks. It still stands today as the Rupp Arena scoring record. Eddie Sutton’s squad used three-point shooting to stay in front, including four treys from freshman Rex Chapman (22 points). Kentucky finished the contest 8-20 from deep, while Navy had a goose egg from long range (0-8). The Admiral was subbed for late when the game was decided and received easily the loudest and longest standing ovation ever for an opposing player. Along with a thrashing of Louisville (85-51), this game was one of the few bright spots during the 1986-87 season, as Big Blue finished the season with an 18-11 record. A one-and-done appearance in both the SEC and NCAA Tournament left the rabid UK fan base squirming. Eddie Sutton was on the clock.

January 24th

your University of Kentucky Wildcats moved to 14-0 on the season with an exciting 109-96 win at Memorial Coliseum against “Pistol” Pete Maravich and the LSU Tigers. Pistol Pete scored 55 points on 21-44 shooting, but Adolph Rupp’s team was content to play 5-on-1 all night long and give the Pistol every look he wanted. Big Blue had a balanced attack behind superstar Dan Issel (35 points - 10 rebounds), Larry Steele (17 points - 11 rebounds), Mike Pratt (19 points - 4 rebounds), Terry Mills (22 points - 4 rebounds), and Bob McCowan (12 points). It was the fifth time The Pistol had played Kentucky, and the fifth time he had gone home with a loss. His career averages versus UK were an absurd: 20-46 FG, 12-15 FT, 7.33 RPG, 52 PPG.

According to Jon Scott’s site, midway through the second half, The Pistol passed Elvin Hayes to become the NCAA’s second leading scorer ever. The game was stopped and the PA announcer told the crowd about the feat. Adolph Rupp quickly responded, “Why the hell do they have to announce that?” It was Rupp’s World, everyone else was just passing through.

January 23rd

your #5 University of Kentucky Wildcats went on the road to Starkville, Mississippi, and took out the Bulldogs, 89-67, behind the outstanding play of a freshman. Newbie Dirk Minniefield set a then-program record for assists with 13 and added 14 points (on 7-10 shooting) to lead the UK to its 16th win in 19 chances. Big Blue was on fire, assisting on 33 of the 39 made baskets and shooting 62% from the field. Kyle Macy and his socks finished the game with 20 points and 8 assists to round out a ridiculous night from the Kentucky backcourt. The win was the 24th for the Cats out of the last 26 games in the series going back to 1967. Minniefield finished his outstanding career and still stands as the all-time leader in assists for the program. Over his four years, he averaged an impressive 5.25 assists/game. Dirk also ended his career as the all-time steals leader in program history, but currently sits in a tie for 10th, behind a Who’s Who list of players from my generation. Minniefield had the three-striped tube socks and ushered in a high-flying style that excited even the oldest members of Rupp Arena.


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No time on the clock, game tied--who would you want at FT line?

January 29th, 1992
was the beginning of the longest winning streak (33) in the history of hallo...
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