This Week in Kentucky Basketball History: Dominating No. 1 Florida Edition
On Tuesdays throughout the 2015-2016 season we will take a trip down memory lane and look back at past great plays, players and games associated with University of Kentucky men’s basketball for that given week. So be sure to check back with us each and every Tuesday to relive the moments that make the winningest Division I men’s basketball program so special.
• 1981: Trailing Georgia by seven points at halftime, No. 7 Kentucky outscored the Bulldogs 27-20 in the second half to force overtime. But one overtime wasn't enough for the two schools as they each scored six points in the first extra period. The Wildcats outscored Georgia 8-5 in the second overtime to secure their thrilling, come-from-behind 71-68 victory in Athens. Kentucky was aided by an impressive shooting performance, 54.9-percent from the field. Sam Bowie led the Wildcats in scoring with 18 points, while they overcame a game-high 32 points by future Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins. This was Kentucky's first double-overtime game since Dec. 11, 1971.
• 2001: Kentucky saved its best for last against No. 25 Georgia, outscoring the Bulldogs by 21 points in the second half to erase their halftime deficit for an 85-70 upset victory in Athens. The Wildcats used a stifling defense to limit the Bulldogs to just 37.7-percent shooting from the field. The duo of Keith Bogans and Tayshaun Prince combined to scored 49 points and pull down 21 rebounds to lead Kentucky.
• 1956: No. 8 Kentucky dominated No. 10 Duke on the glass, resulting in a plus-30 rebounding margin, to aid the Wildcats in their 81-76 victory over the Blue Devils at Memorial Coliseum. Jerry Bird led Kentucky in scoring with 29 points, while the duo of Bird and Phil Grawemeyer combined to outrebound Duke by themselves (36-35). This was the first meeting between Duke and Kentucky with both teams ranked in the top 10 of the Associated Press poll.
• 2000: No. 14 Kentucky took advantage of the physical play by No. 6 Tennessee, making 25-o- 37 attempts from the charity stripe, to upset the Volunteers 81-68 at Rupp Arena. Freshman Keith Bogans led the Wildcats in scoring with 25 points. This was Kentucky's first win over a Tennessee team ranked in the top 10 of the Associated Press poll since Feb. 12, 1968.
• 1966: Two of the top three teams in the country, at least according to the Associated Press poll, met at Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville for a monumental SEC showdown. Kentucky was ranked No. 2 with an unblemished 15-0 record, while Vanderbilt was ranked No. 3 with a 15-2 record, including a loss to Kentucky in Lexington earlier in the season. The Wildcats made sure that there was no debate as to who the best team in the SEC was, shooting 55 percent from the field and having a plus-13 rebounding margin to easily defeat the Commodores, 105-90. Cliff Berger posted a double-double for Kentucky, scoring 11 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. But it was the duo of Louie Dampier and Pat Riley that proved to be the difference for Kentucky. Dampier and Riley combined to score 70 points, including a career-high 42 points scored by Dampier.
• 2010: No. 4 Kentucky shot 50 percent from the field, including 47.4-percent from the 3-point line, in a 85-75 victory over No. 25 Ole Miss at Rupp Arena. Freshman DeMarcus Cousins posted a double-double for the Wildcats, leading the team in both points (18) and rebounds (13).
• 1968: No. 10 Kentucky and LSU were involved in fast-pace, back-and-forth game, with the teams averaging a field goal attempt every 13.6 seconds, but the Wildcats proved to be too much for the Tigers in their 109-96 victory at Memorial Coliseum. Kentucky's quartet of Mike Casey, Dan Issel, Thad Jaracz, and current UK Sports Network analyst Mike Pratt combined to score 88 points and pull down 50 rebounds. LSU's Pete Maravich poured in 44 points in a losing effort.
• 2004: No. 9 Kentucky went to the charity stripe an astounding 40 times, making 26 of its free-throw attempts, which proved to be the difference in the Wildcats' 68-65 narrow win over No. 21 Florida in Gainesville. Kentucky's discipline on offense helped as well, committing just nine turnovers in a hostile environment. Senior Erik Daniels led all scorers with 22 points.
• 1987: Kentucky and No. 20 Auburn both made 31 field goals and six free throws, but it was the Wildcats' seven made 3-point field goals that provided the difference in their 75-71 upset victory over the Tigers at Rupp Arena. Kentucky shot an impressive 57.4-percent from the field to aid in their win. Four Wildcats scored in double figures, led by James Blackmon's career-high 27 points.
• 2003: No. 6 Kentucky had arguably its most dominating performance against an Associated Press poll top-ranked team in the program's history when No. 1 Florida came into Lexington. The Wildcats overwhelmed the Gators from the get-go, racing to a commanding 23-point lead at halftime. It only got worse for Florida, with Kentucky reaching their largest lead of 29 points with 12:49 remaining in the game. The Wildcats played conservatively the rest of the second half en route to their 70-55 drubbing of the nation's best team. Kentucky used a stifling defense that limited Florida to just 34-percent shooting from the field and forced the Gators into 19 turnovers. The Wildcats had three players score in double figures, led by senior Keith Bogans’ 15 points. This is Kentucky's largest margin of victory ever against a team ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press poll.
• 1949: No. 1 Kentucky overcame a terrible shooting performance from the free-throw line, making just six of their 16 attempts, to defeat No. 18 Bradley 62-52 in Owensboro. Two players scored in double figures for the Wildcats, led by senior Alex Groza's 30 points.
• 1995: No. 6 Kentucky and its trademark full-court pressure defense overwhelmed No. 10 Syracuse, forcing the Orange into an astounding 33 turnovers, as the Wildcats won 77-71 in a top-10 battle at Rupp Arena. Kentucky overcame a poor shooting performance from the field, 39.1 percent, by making 22 of 30 attempts from the free-throw line. Three Wildcats scored in double figures, led by junior Tony Delk's 16 points.
• 1982: No. 9 Kentucky overcame a stellar shooting performance by No. 16 Tennessee, 52.7-percent from the field, by making 12 more free throws than the Volunteers in the Wildcats' 77-67 victory at Rupp Arena. Kentucky also overcame a minus-nine rebounding margin to pull out the win. The Wildcats were very balanced on offense, with six players scoring in double figures, led by sophomore Jim Master's 15 points.
• 1993: No. 2 Kentucky avenged an earlier loss in the season to No. 11 Vanderbilt, when the Wildcats were undefeated and the top-ranked team in the Associated Press poll, with a dominating 82-67 victory over the Commodores at Rupp Arena. The difference in the game was from behind the arc, where the Wildcats made 14 3-point field goals while the Commodores could only muster two made 3-point field goals. Vanderbilt's shooting woes didn't help their cause either, making only 32.8 percent of its field-goal attempts. Junior Jamal Mashburn paced Kentucky with a double-double, leading the team in both scoring (17 points) and rebounds (11).
• 1994: No. 7 Kentucky overcame a seven-point halftime deficit against No. 11 Massachusetts, outscoring the Minutemen by 10 points in the second half to secure the Wildcats' 67-64 come-from-behind victory in East Rutherford. Both teams' statistical performances were almost identical, with Kentucky's five made 3-point field goals providing enough difference for their victory. Jared Prickett led Kentucky in scoring with 17 points as the Wildcats defeated the program's current head coach John Calipari.
• 2001: Kentucky raced out to an impressive 14-point lead against No. 8 Florida at halftime and held on in the second half to squeak by the Gators 71-70 in an upset victory at Rupp Arena. The Wildcats' victory was aided by their discipline on offense, committing just nine turnovers. Three players scored in double figures for Kentucky, led by junior Tayshaun Prince's 19 points.