This Week in Kentucky Basketball History: New Year's 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.

Dec. 27
1969: No. 1 Kentucky and No. 11 Notre Dame were involved in a game in which the scoreboard seemed to not keep up at times. The Wildcats put up 55 points in the first half en route to their 102-100 victory over the Fighting Irish. Kentucky never went to the bench, using the five starters the entire game. The Wildcats were led on offense by the duo of Dan Issel and Mike Pratt, current UK Sports Network analyst. Issel scored 35 points and Pratt scored a career-high 42 points. Notre Dame legend Austin Carr scored 43 points.
1986: No. 18 Kentucky outscored Louisville, the defending national champions, 47-23 in the second half on the way to an 85-51 blowout victory over its intrastate rival at Freedom Hall. The Wildcats had three players score in double figures, led by freshman Rex Chapman's 26 points. This tied Kentucky's largest margin of victory ever against Louisville.
2014: No. 1 Kentucky used suffocating defense to hold No. 4 Louisville to just 18 points in the first half of a 58-50 victory over their intrastate rival. The Wildcats held the Cardinals to just 25.9-percent shooting from the field. Kentucky was led on offense by Tyler Ulis, who chipped in 14 points.

Dec. 28
1953: No. 2 Kentucky overcame two players fouling out to defeat No. 8 Minnesota in convincing fashion, 74-59, in a battle of top-10 teams. The Wildcats had four players score in double figures, led by senior Frank Ramsey's 23 points.
1959: No. 13 Kentucky, trailing No. 3 Ohio State by 10 points at halftime, outscored the Buckeyes 47-34 in the second half to complete the 96-93 comeback victory at Memorial Coliseum. The Wildcats had great all-around play by the duo of Carroll Burchett and Don Mills, who both recorded double-doubles. The offense was sparked by Bennie Coffman and Bill Lickert, who combined to score 55 points. This was the third time in school history that Kentucky had defeated the eventual national champion.
1968: No. 4 Kentucky, with a slim three-point lead against No. 7 Notre Dame at the half, outscored the Fighting Irish 61-44 in the final 20 minutes to run away with the 110-90 victory at Freedom Hall. The quartet of Phil Argento, Mike Casey, Dan Issel and Mike Pratt combined to score 83 points for the Wildcats. 
1974: No. 17 Kentucky, shooting an astounding 59.3-percent from the field, upset No. 13 Notre Dame 113-96 in an offensive shootout at Freedom Hall. The Wildcats forced the Fighting Irish into a selfish brand of offense, allowing just three assists on 41 made field goals. Kentucky had six players score in double figures, led by senior Kevin Grevey's 28 points.
1983: No. 2 Kentucky overwhelmed No. 18 Purdue in the first half, outscoring the Boilermakers 53-27 en route to their 86-67 victory at Freedom Hall. The Wildcats were led by the duo of Melvin Turpin and Kenny Walker, who each recorded a double-double.
1985: No. 13 Kentucky played disciplined on offense, committing just seven turnovers that aided a 69-64 victory over the No. 15 Louisville Cardinals. Senior Kenny Walker posted a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds for the Wildcats, while Winston Bennett led the team in scoring with 23 points.
1991: No. 17 Kentucky was involved in a physical battle with intrastate rival No. 21 Louisville, with the teams combining to commit 53 fouls and have 71 free-throw attempts. The Wildcats overcame the physical play to defeat the Cardinals 103-89 at Rupp Arena. The duo of Jamal Mashburn and John Pelphrey combined to score 51 points.
2013: No. 18 Kentucky overcame a poor shooting performance from behind the arc, just 21.4-percent, to upset No. 6 Louisville 73-66 at Rupp Arena in a battle of intrastate rivals. The Wildcats had four players score in double figures, while freshman James Young recorded a double-double, tying the team high in both points (18) and rebounds (10).

Dec. 29
1979: No. 2 Kentucky raced out to a 14-point lead at the half against No. 8 Notre Dame and held on in the final 20 minutes to defeat the Fighting Irish 86-80 at Freedom Hall. The Wildcats shot an impressive 61.1-percent from the field to aid in their victory. Senior Kyle Macy led the team with 21 points, while freshman Derrick Hord recorded a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
1981: No. 4 Kentucky had its patience tested when they took on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Freedom Hall. Knowing that his team couldn't compete with the Wildcats under normal circumstances, head coach Digger Phelps employed a deliberate, "stall ball" style of offense that drastically reduced the amount of possessions in the game, especially in the second half. This led to the Wildcats scoring just five points in the final 20 minutes of regulation, ending up in a 23-23 tie. The pace picked up in overtime, with Kentucky outscoring Notre Dame in the extra period 11-5 to secure the 34-28 victory. The Wildcats didn't get many chances on offense but they made the most of them, making 76.5-percent of their field-goal attempts. Sophomore Melvin Turpin was the only Kentucky player to reach double figures in scoring, chipping in 11 points.
2001: No. 6 Kentucky was not very hospitable to former Wildcat head coach Rick Pitino returning to Rupp Arena as the head coach for Louisville. With the Wildcats leading by six points at the half, Kentucky pulled away in the second half, outscoring the Cardinals 46-30 to secure the 82-62 blowout victory in the intrastate battle. Kentucky's stifling defense held Louisville to just 36.2-percent shooting from the field, while the offense was led by senior Tayshaun Prince's 18 points.
2009: No. 3 Kentucky was a mismatch for Hartford, outscoring the Hawks by 26 points in the first half en route to their convincing 104-61 victory at Rupp Arena. The Wildcats shot an impressive 60.3-percent from the field, but it was one particular player who stole the show. Freshman sensation point guard John Wall was the epitome of unselfish play, setting a new school record with 16 assists. Another freshman, DeMarcus Cousins, chipped in a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds. 

Dec. 30
1961: No. 6 Kentucky imposed its will down low against Notre Dame, resulting in an astounding plus-33 rebounding margin that resulted in the Wildcats blowing out the Fighting Irish 100-53 at Freedom Hall. Kentucky's defense also forced Notre Dame into shooting meager 23.1-percent shooting from the field. The Wildcats were led on offense by the trio of Carroll Burchett, Cotton Nash and Roy Roberts, who combined to score 60 points and pull down 47 rebounds. This is the largest margin of victory ever for Kentucky against Notre Dame.
1975: Kentucky, trailing No. 5 Notre Dame by seven points at halftime, mounted a furious comeback against the Fighting Irish in the second half, outscoring them 47-38 for the 79-77 upset victory at Freedom Hall. The Wildcats overcame a poor shooting performance from the free-throw line, 35.7-percent, in their upset win. Kentucky was led in scoring by a pair of 18-point scorers, Truman Claytor and Mike Phillips, while Rick Robey posted a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. This was just the second time in school history, and the first time since Dec. 23, 1961, that an unranked Kentucky squad had defeated a team ranked in the top five of the Associated Press Poll.
1976: No. 6 Kentucky shocked No. 2 Notre Dame from the start of the game, outscoring the Fighting Irish by 21 points in the first half en route to their 102-78 upset victory at Freedom Hall. The Wildcats' high-scoring performance was aided by their 62.5-percent shooting from the field. Kentucky had five players score in double figures, led by junior Jack Givens' 30 points.
1978: No. 13 Kentucky trailed No. 2 Notre Dame by three points at halftime, but bounced back in the final 20 minutes to upset the Fighting Irish 81-76 at Freedom Hall. Senior Truman Claytor led the team in scoring with 18 points, while junior Lavon Williams recorded a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds.

Dec. 31
1963: No. 1 Kentucky, trailing No. 9 Duke by 10 points at halftime, counted on the heroics of junior Terry Mobley to avoid the upset-minded Blue Devils and defeat them 81-79 in a thrilling finish of the Sugar Bowl Championship. Mobley was clutch twice for the Wildcats, making a shot with 1:27 left to tie the game at 79, and then another jumper with just three seconds left on the clock to secure the win. Amazingly, Kentucky defeated Duke despite having a minus-25 rebounding margin. The Wildcats were led on offense by senior Cotton Nash's 30 points.
1977: No. 1 Kentucky was nearly flawless from the free-throw line, making 25-of-28 attempts, to aid in a 73-68 victory over No. 4 Notre Dame at Freedom Hall. The Wildcats were led in scoring by a pair of 18-point scorers, Jack Givens and Kyle Macy, while senior Rick Robey posted a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. This has been the only meeting between the Wildcats and Fighting Irish with both squads ranked in the top 5 of the Associated Press Poll.
1984: Kentucky overwhelmed No. 11 Kansas in the paint, resulting in a plus-13 rebounding margin for the Wildcats that aided them in their 92-89 upset victory over the Jayhawks at Freedom Hall. Kentucky also used its defense to force Kansas into 19 turnovers. But this game was all about junior Kenny Walker. Walker had his best game as a Wildcat, setting career highs in both points (36) and rebounds (19). 
1996: No. 3 Kentucky, trailing No. 14 Louisville by one point at halftime, responded in the final 20 minutes, outscoring the Cardinals 47-26 to avoid the upset in their 74-54 blowout victory of their intrastate rival. The Wildcats' patented pressure defense stifled the Cardinals, forcing them into 25 turnovers. Kentucky was balanced on offense with five players scoring in double figures, led by senior Derek Anderson's 19 points.
2010: No. 11 Kentucky raced out to an 11-point lead at halftime against No. 22 Louisville and cruised in the second half en route to a convincing 78-63 victory over its intrastate rival. The Wildcats were led in scoring by freshman sensation Brandon Knight, pouring in 25 points, but it was a junior-college transfer who was most impressive. Josh Harrellson had his best game in a Kentucky jersey, setting career highs in both points (23) and rebounds (14).
2011: No. 3 Kentucky overcame a dreadful shooting performance, just 29.8-percent from the field, to defeat No. 4 Louisville 69-62 in the battle of intrastate rivals. The Wildcats compensated for their poor shooting by dominating the Cardinals on glass, resulting in a plus-26 rebounding margin. Freshman sensation Anthony Davis did a little bit of everything for Kentucky, scoring 18 points, pulling down 10 rebounds and blocking six shots. But it was another freshman that most impressive for the Wildcats. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had his best game as a Wildcat, setting career highs in both points (24) and rebounds (19).

Jan. 1
1955: No. 1 Kentucky had just too much size for Temple to overcome, resulting in an astounding plus-37 rebounding margin en route to the Wildcats' 100-69 blowout victory over the Owls. The Wildcats had five players score in double figures, with four of those recording a double-double (Jerry Bird, Bob Burrow, Ray Mills and Linville Puckett).

Jan. 2
2010: No. 3 Kentucky stifled Louisville in the first half, limiting the Cardinals to just 19 points in the first 20 minutes, en route to their 71-62 victory in head coach John Calipari's first experience in the intrastate battle. The Wildcats held Louisville to just 32.2-percent shooting from the field, while overcoming their own shooting woes (14.3-percent from behind the arc). Kentucky had four players score in double figures, led by freshman sensation DeMarcus Cousins' 18 points, who also pulled down 18 rebounds.