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From the Pressbox: Reliving the 10 most memorable UK-IU matchups

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Friday night's Kentucky-Indiana matchup in the NCAA South Regional in Atlanta will mark the 55th all-time meeting between these border state rivals with the richest of roundball traditions.  So this is as good a time as any to take a look at my top 10 most memorable games from the rivalry:

10. January, 1993.  A top-ranked Kentucky team rained down 16 three's on Indiana and held on for an 81-78 victory at Rupp Arena.

Jamal Mashburn and Travis Ford led the way for UK, each scoring 29 points and combining for 13 of those three-point baskets.

9. December, 1987.
43,000 fans packed the Hoosier Dome to see the first installment of the short-lived Big Four event. No.2 Kentucky defeated No. 5 Indiana 82-76 in overtime as the guard combo of Ed Davender and Rex Chapman led UK with 22 and 20 points, respectively.

8. December, 1991.
This one is notable because it marked the final Kentucky-Indiana game called by legendary UK radio voice Cawood Ledford. IU coach Bob Knight presented Ledford with a gift before the game and it's a good thing because he probably wasn't in a giving mood afterward.

Fourteenth-ranked Kentucky knocked off the ninth-ranked Hoosiers 76-74 in front of 34,000 fans at the Hoosier Dome. Jamal Mashburn led the Cats with 21 and Deron Feldhaus added 19 as UK ended a three-game losing streak to Indiana.

7. December, 2002.
Keith Bogans led the way with 17 points as Kentucky knocked off sixth-ranked Indiana 70-64 at Freedom Hall, but it wasn't a player that did the most memorable thing on the court.  

It was IU coach Mike Davis, who leaped off the bench and stormed to the free-throw line, protesting a non-call on a Bracey Wright shot. Official Bert Smith did his best to keep from having to call a game-altering technical foul on Davis but the Hoosier coach wouldn't back down and he was ejected from the game.

6. December, 1969.
This marked the start of the annual meetings between the Cats and the Hoosiers and the Dan Issel-Mike Pratt combo powered the top-ranked Wildcats to a 109-92 win at Memorial Coliseum.

Issel poured in 32 points and grabbed 19 rebounds and Pratt contributed 21 to the UK victory.

5. December, 1965. Kentucky and Indiana met for the first time in 21 years in the title game of the annual UK Invitational Tournament at Memorial Coliseum.

Neither team was ranked, although the UK team that came to be known as "Rupp's Runts" would eventually work its way to the top of the national polls. Indianapolis native Louie Dampier paced the Cats with 28 points while Pat Riley added 21 points and 15 rebounds. Also, another native Hoosier, Tommy Kron, had a double-double with 10 points and 11 boards.

4. December, 1979.
Indiana brought a No. 1 ranking into Rupp Arena but left with a 69-58 loss to Joe Hall's Wildcats.

Kyle Macy led a balanced UK attack with 12 points. Jay Shidler and Lavon Williams added 11 each as the Kentucky defense forced IU into 17-for-49 shooting.

3. December, 1996. The "Air Pair" took flight, handing Bob Knight his worst loss ever in the series against Kentucky (perhaps one of the reasons he can't seem to find his way to mention the name "Kentucky" in his ESPN analysis of the tournament).

Derek Anderson erupted for 30 points, including a thunderous baseline dunk, and Ron Mercer added 26 as the Wildcats routed the Hoosiers 99-65 at Freedom Hall.

2. March, 1983. This is the last time UK and Indiana met on the NCAA Tournament trail and the No. 12 Cats punched their tickets into the "Dream Game" matchup with Louisville by beating the fifth-ranked Hoosiers 65-59 at the old Stokely Athletic Center in Knoxville, TN.

Melvin Turpin had 16 to lead the Cats and Indiana native Jim Master added 12.

1. March, 1975. Was there any doubt what my most memorable game in this series would be?

Kentucky had lost to the undefeated Hoosiers by 24 in December in Bloomington but legend has it that Coach Hall used his pregame talk in the locker room to explain details of the celebration that would come AFTER his team had upset the top-ranked Hoosiers.  And they went out and did it - by a score of 92-90 - with Indiana native Mike Flynn scoring a team-high 22 points. Fellow guard Jimmy Dan Conner added 17, as did Kevin Grevey, and both Conner and Flynn each notched five assists.    

It is worth nothing that both of UK's NCAA wins over Indiana came after the Hoosiers had won the regular season matchup in Bloomington.  

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