On This Date In UK History
Special Thanks To Big Blue Booyah
your #3 University of Kentucky Wildcats needed a game winner by Kenny "Sky" Walker as time expired to beat Auburn in the SEC Championship game, 51-49. The game was a freak show of talent, putting five of the nation's premier college basketball players on display at Vanderbilt Memorial Gym in Nashville. Kentucky's Sam Bowie, Melvin Turpin, and Kenny Walker dominated the inside for UK, while Charles Barkley and Chuck Person controlled the middle for the Tigers. The game was a slugfest that went back-and-forth until the final buzzer sounded when Jim Master found Sky Walker on the elbow for the winner. Walker's shot hit the front of the iron, bounced into the air and found the bottom of the basket for a lil' string music, sending The Round Mound of Rebound to the floor in tears. The Cats were led by Walker (12 points - 9 rebounds), Turpin (13 points - 5 rebounds), Master (10 points), and Dicky Beal (7 assists). It was the 14th SEC Tournament Championship for Kentucky.
your top-ranked University of Kentucky Wildcats gave Nolan Richardson the beatdown he deserved with a 95-75 thrashing of the Arkansas Razorbacks in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament. The Hogs seemed to be a shell of their former selves, as the "40 Minutes of Hell" is just what they got from arguably the best college basketball team ever. Antoine Walker shimmied his way to 21 points - 14 rebounds - 5 assists - 2 steals, giving him player of the game honors. The most scary statistic of the game was the fact senior All-American Tony Delk went only 1-9 from 3-point range. A 20 point victory over the proverbial thorn in our side with our MVP shooting like that was a great sign for Big Blue Nation. Walter McCarty added 17 points - 4 blocks - 3 steals and freshman phenom Ron Mercer contributed 11 points off the bench. The win was the 27th straight for the '96 Cats. The streak would end at 27, though, as Mississippi State would catch us sleeping in the Championship game.
your #7 University of Kentucky Wildcats absolutely destroyed #15 South Carolina, 86-56, to take their sixth SEC Tournament Championship in seven years, and their 21st overall SEC Tournament Championship. The most impressive part of the beating was that Kentucky didn't have the services of Jeff Sheppard due to an ankle injury, and Nazr Mohammed was less than 100% with a separated shoulder. Only three Cats got into double figures and twelve players saw court time as Tubby's squad built a ten point lead by halftime. Wayne Turner picked up the slack (with Sheppard out) and finished the contest with 18 points, including two 3-pointers, and four assists. Allen Edwards added 15 points and five assists, and super-sub Heshimu Evans had 11 points - 6 rebounds - 3 assists for the winners. And to add salt to the gaping South Carolina wound, Myron Anthony finished 3-3 from the field for 7 points and the human victory cigar Steve Masiello's three minutes of action saw him make a 3 and have an And-1. There ya go South Carolina, Steve Masiello balled on you.
your #10 University of Kentucky Wildcats honored the most compelling group of seniors ever as The Unforgettables walked onto the Rupp Arena floor one last time. The quartet of Deron Feldhaus, Sean Woods, John Pelphrey, and Richie Farmer changed the culture of a basketball powerhouse that had buried itself in NCAA sanctions into (ultimately) one of the most talked about teams in the country. Make no mistake, though, as the most dominant player on the floor was super sophomore Jamal Mashburn, who had 30 points in the 99-88 shootout win over Allan Houston and Tennessee. On the senior side, Sean Woods got ejected and spent most of the day in the locker room, not before dishing out six assists. John Pelphrey (9 points - 7 assists - 5 steals - 4 rebounds), Deron Feldhaus (13 points - 4 rebounds), and Richie Farmer (15 points - 4 assists) were enough of a supporting cast to help Mash send the boys out on a high note. The game was also the last Rupp Arena game for "The Voice of the Wildcats" Cawood Ledford.
your #7 University of Kentucky Wildcats started their postseason march by taking out future Kentucky assistant David Hobbs and Alabama in the SEC Tournament 81-72. After a close first half, Big Blue steadily pulled away in the second stanza even without a suspended Jamaal Magloire. Tubby Smith suspended the big man for a violation of team rules and didn't even notify the team that he wouldn't be playing until halftime. No matter, as UK had nine players see at least 13 minutes of action, led by Jeff Sheppard (17 points), Wayne Turner (9 points - 8 assists), and Scott Padgett (12 points - 13 rebounds). The highly acclaimed trio, along with sculpted sixth man Heshimu Evans (7 points - 10 rebounds) put Big Blue Nation on its back and slammed its way into the semifinals where they would take on #16 Arkansas. The difference in the Bama game, though, was the beating put forth on the glass by the Wildcats, outworking the Tide 53-32.
your #2 University of Kentucky Wildcats beat up Vanderbilt, 106-44, to move to 15-0 in conference play and put themselves in a position that only the 1996 Cats had ever been in, going undefeated in all 16 conference games. All 15 players saw at least four minutes of court time in a game that saw only two players play over 20 minutes (Seniors Marquis Estill and Keith Bogans). The first half was the setup, outscoring the Commies 48-29. The second half was the annihilation, outscoring Vandy 58-15. Kentucky had almost as many made baskets as Vanderbilt did points, 43 to 44. Tubby's finest team was led by an efficient Erik Daniels with 20 points on 9-12 shooting, 2-3 from 3-point range. Josh Carrier was given a technical for pushing and Bernard Cote even put up five points and four rebounds in a game that apparently had everyone feeling like they were John Wall. The only Cats not to score on the day were Matt Heissenbuttel and Preston LeMaster, but who cares, they could still ball us out.
is a very memorable day to me, because it was the last time Billy Clyde Gillispie ever step foot in Rupp Arena as the head coach of my beloved Kentucky Wildcats. What happened you ask? He lost to possibly the worst SEC squad that had come in there in a long time, the 2-13 Georgia Bulldogs, led by head coach Pete Hermann! Obviously the best experience of his life. The team was reeling already and with the loss, needed to win an SEC Tournament that nobody to and get an NCAA bid. Michael Porter had the game of his life going 5-8 from deep and finishing with 15 points to keep it close, but Georgia's Terrance Woodbury dropped 30 points to send poor Jared Carter packing on Senior Night. It would also be the last game for a multitude of players that Big Blue Nation had seemed to actually have a close connection. We hated Billy, they hated Billy, and Jeannine hated Billy. After the Billy Gillispie/Jeannine Edwards confrontation in Oxford, Kentucky would go 6-10 to finish out the year after starting the season 16-4. It did lead to the always rumored Memorial Coliseum game, which was a very raucous event for the first round of the NIT versus UNLV. Fans actually stood, banged their hands together, while noises came from their mouth. It was highlighted by the Coz's posterization of some poor dude.
NOTE:This Website is not affiliated with the University of Kentucky
your #3 University of Kentucky Wildcats needed a game winner by Kenny "Sky"...
Click for more »