This Week in Kentucky Basketball History: SEC Tournament 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.

Mar. 6
1967: Kentucky shot an astounding 58.6 percent from the field in the Wildcats' 110-78 blowout over the Alabama Crimson Tide on Senior Day at Memorial Coliseum. Two of Rupp's Runts - Louie Dampier and Pat Riley - played in their final game in a Kentucky uniform, combining to score 44 points and pull down 16 rebounds.
1971: No. 8 Kentucky and No. 14 Tennessee were deadlocked at 42 at the half, with the Wildcats outscoring the Volunteers 42-36 in the second half to secure the 84-78 victory on Senior Day at Memorial Coliseum. The Wildcats' senior quartet of Mike Casey, Jim Dinwiddie, Terry Mills and Larry Steele combined to score 48 points and pull down 22 rebounds.
1972: Kentucky overwhelmed Auburn in the first half, leading by 26 points at the break, and cruised in the second half to defeat the Tigers 102-67 on Senior Day at Memorial Coliseum. The Wildcats' defense limited the Tigers to just 37.1 percent shooting from the field, while Kentucky made 78.8 percent of its 33 free-throw attempts. Tom Parker led Kentucky in scoring with 29 points in his final home game as a Wildcat. Sadly it was also the final home game for head coach Adolph Rupp, 41 years after his debut at Kentucky.
1976: Kentucky took advantage of No. 16 Alabama's shooting woes from the charity stripe, making just 43.8 percent of its 16 free-throw attempts, to upset the Crimson Tide 90-85 in Lexington. The Wildcats were led by a pair of double-double performers, James Lee (21 points, 11 rebounds) and Mike Phillips (25 points, 10 rebounds).
1999: No. 14 Kentucky used a suffocating defense to limit No. 4 Auburn to a meager 30-percent shooting from the field en route to the Wildcats' 69-57 upset victory over the Tigers in the SEC Tournament at the Georgia Dome. The Wildcats were balanced on offense, with six players scoring at least nine points, led by seniors Scott Padgett and Wayne Turner each scoring 13 points.

Mar. 7
1992: No. 10 Kentucky overcame Tennessee's hot shooting, 56.1 percent from the field, by making 12 3-point field goals in the Wildcats' 99-88 victory over their border rival in an emotional Senior Day at Rupp Arena. This was the final home game for a beloved quartet of seniors - Richie Farmer, Deron Feldhaus, John Pelphrey, and Sean Woods - who stayed at Kentucky throughout its probation period. It was also the final home game for the legendary voice of the Wildcats, Cawood Ledford, after broadcasting Kentucky's basketball games on the radio for 39 years. But it was a sophomore who stole the show during the game, with Jamal Mashburn scored 30 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.
1998: No. 7 Kentucky dominated No. 16 Arkansas on the glass, resulting in a plus-21 rebounding margin, en route to the Wildcats' 99-74 blowout over the Razorbacks in the SEC Tournament. Kentucky being nearly flawless from the charity stripe, making 19 of their 22 free-throw attempts, also aided in the victory. Five players scored in double figures for the Wildcats, led by senior Jeff Sheppard's 17 points.
1999: No. 14 Kentucky, trailing No. 22 Arkansas by one point at halftime, outscored the Razorbacks 37-23 in the second half to complete the 76-63 comeback victory in the SEC Tournament championship game. The Wildcats' defense limited Arkansas to just 34.8-percent shooting from the field. Three players scored in double figures for Kentucky, led by senior Scott Padgett's 20 points.
2015: No. 1 Kentucky took great care of the ball, committing only eight turnovers, in the Wildcats' 67-50 victory over the Florida Gators on Senior Day at Rupp Arena. Kentucky took advantage of the free-throw attempt differential, taking 14 more attempts than Florida, by making 12 more attempts than the Gators to aid in their victory. Trey Lyles led the team in scoring with 14 points. This was a historic victory for the Wildcats, as they completed their regular season with a perfect 31-0 record. 

Mar. 8
1976: Kentucky, trailing Mississippi State by eight points at halftime, outscored the Bulldogs 43-35 in the second half to force overtime. In the extra period, the Wildcats squeaked out a 94-93 victory on Senior Day at Memorial Coliseum. Sophomore Jack Givens led Kentucky in scoring with 26 points. This was the final regular-season home game at Memorial Coliseum for Kentucky, which served as its home court for 26 seasons.
1984: No. 3 Kentucky shot an astounding 58.7 percent from the field in a 92-79 victory over the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Tournament. The Wildcats' dominant play on the glass also aided in their victory, outrebounding Georgia 41-22. But this game was about one player and his magnificent performance. Senior Melvin Turpin had his best game of his collegiate career, scoring a career-high and SEC Tournament-record 42 points, while pulling down a career-high 16 rebounds.
1998: No. 7 Kentucky was lights out from behind the arc, making 13 3-point field goals, en route to its 86-56 blowout victory over No. 15 South Carolina in the SEC Tournament championship game. The Wildcats also played great defense, limiting the Gamecocks to just 36.8-percent shooting from the field and forcing them into 19 turnovers. Three players scored in double figures, led by junior Wayne Turner's 18 points.
2003: In a battle of SEC heavyweights, and a hostile crowd for the visiting Wildcats, Gerald Fitch made two free-throws with 12.8 seconds remaining to seal the 69-65 win for No. 2 Kentucky over No. 3 Florida in Gainesville. In an evenly played game, as the score indicates, the difference for Kentucky came behind the arc, in which the Wildcats made six more 3-point field goals than the Gators. Fitch, the late-game hero, led Kentucky in scoring with 18 points. This was a historic win for Kentucky as it finished the regular season undefeated in SEC play for the first time since the 1995-96 season.

Mar. 9
1954: The senior duo of Cliff Hagan and Frank Ramsey combined to score 47 points as No. 1 Kentucky defeated No. 8 LSU 63-56 in an SEC playoff game in Nashville. The playoff game was a result of both teams having the same regular-season conference record, but not meeting head-to-head due to a scheduling disagreement. As the winner of the playoff, Kentucky was awarded the SEC's bid into the NCAA Tournament, but declined the bid due to the fact that their three seniors would be ineligible to participate in the tournament. As a result, Kentucky finished the season with a perfect 25-0 record, the school's first undefeated season since 1912. 
1997: No. 6 Kentucky used its patented pressure defense to force No. 24 Georgia into 23 turnovers as the Wildcats overwhelmed the Bulldogs 95-68 in the SEC Tournament championship game in Memphis. It wasn't so bad on the offensive end either for Kentucky, shooting a hot 60.7-percent from the field. Four Wildcats scored in double figures, led by senior Anthony Epps' career-high 22 points. Georgia's head coach for this game, Tubby Smith, would become the head coach for Kentucky the very next season.
2013: In an evenly played game, Kentucky's five more made free throws provided the difference in its 61-57 upset victory over No. 11 Florida on Senior Day at Rupp Arena. The Wildcats were able to overcome a poor shooting performance, making just 39.3-percent of their field goal attempts, to pull out the win. Three players scored in double figures for Kentucky, led by freshman Archie Goodwin's 16 points.

Mar. 10
1984: In a slow-paced, methodical game, No. 3 Kentucky provided a thrilling finish to the SEC Tournament championship game in Nashville. With the Wildcats and Auburn deadlocked at 49, and no shot clock, Kentucky had the ball with 1:40 remaining in regulation with the intent of taking the final shot of the game. With four seconds remaining, Jim Master passed the ball to Kenny Walker at the top of the key. Walker curled to just inside the free-throw line and took a jumper at the buzzer, which ricocheted off the rim, and seemed to be suspended in midair for an eternity, before falling through the net for the Wildcats' 51-49 thrilling victory over the Auburn Tigers. Three players scored in double figures for Kentucky, led by senior Melvin Turpin's 13 points. This was Kentucky's first SEC Tournament championship since 1952.
2001: With No. 15 Kentucky trailing Arkansas by 10 points at halftime, the Wildcats clawed back in the second half, outscoring the Razorbacks 55-36 in the final 20 minutes to complete the improbable 87-78 comeback victory in the SEC Tournament. Kentucky took advantage of Arkansas' physical play, making 30 of its 40 free-throw attempts. Kentucky also imposed its will on the glass, resulting in a plus-16 rebounding margin. Sophomore Keith Bogans led the Wildcats in scoring with 23 points. This is Kentucky's largest halftime deficit overcome in an SEC Tournament win in school history.
2012: No. 1 Kentucky took advantage of taking 18 more free-throw attempts than No. 22 Florida, by making 15 more free throws than the Gators that provided the difference in the Wildcats' 74-71 victory in the SEC Tournament semifinals. Kentucky also took great care of the ball, resulting in just six turnovers. The Wildcats were balanced on offense, with five players scoring between 10 and 16 points, with sophomore Doron Lamb being the leading scorer.

Mar. 11
1978: No. 1 Kentucky used an all-around hot shooting performance, making 56.6-percent of its field goal attempts and 83.3 percent of its free-throw attempts, to take down No. 13 Florida State 85-76 in their opening game of the NCAA Tournament in Iowa City. The Wildcats were unselfish on offense, with six players scoring in double figures, led by junior Truman Claytor's 16 points.
2001: No. 15 Kentucky used a superb first-half defensive performance, limiting No. 14 Ole Miss to 19 points on 20-percent shooting from the field, to run the Rebels off the court in a 77-55 blowout victory in the SEC Tournament championship game in Nashville. Ole Miss ended up with a meager 29-percent shooting from the field, including 19-percent from behind the arc. Junior Tayshaun Prince was the top performer for Kentucky, leading the team in both points (26) and rebounds (12).

Mar. 12
1966: No. 1 Kentucky used a solid defensive performance, limiting No. 9 Michigan to 37.6-percent shooting from the field, to catapult the Wildcats to the 84-77 victory over the Wolverines in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. Kentucky was full of iron-man performances, with four players playing all 40 minutes. Five players scored in double figures for the Wildcats, led by junior Pat Riley's 29 points. This resulted in Kentucky's first Final Four appearance since 1958.
1970: In a fast-paced, up-and-down game, No. 1 Kentucky proved to be too efficient on offense for No. 9 Notre Dame, defeating the Fighting Irish 109-99 in the NCAA Tournament in Columbus. In a game filled with offense, it was two opposing players that provided all the offensive fireworks. Kentucky's Dan Issel made 17 of his 28 field-goal attempts, and 10 of his 14 free-throw attempts, to set a school record for most points in an NCAA Tournament game, 44. But that was only the second-best scoring output of the game. Notre Dame's Austin Carr made 22 of his 35 field-goal attempts, and all eight of his free-throw attempts, to pour in 52 points, the most points ever scored by an opposing player against Kentucky in an NCAA Tournament game. 
1993: No. 4 Kentucky had one of its most dominating performances in SEC Tournament history, embarrassing border rival Tennessee 101-40 in the quarterfinals at Rupp Arena. The Wildcats had a commanding 24-point lead at halftime, and that wasn't even the worst of it for the Volunteers. Kentucky outscored Tennessee 60-23 in the final 20 minutes to complete the beat down. The Wildcats' smothering defense forced the Volunteers to shoot just 23.1 percent from the field, and a meager 9.5 percent from behind the arc. On the other hand, Kentucky shot an impressive 54.9-percent from the field, including 12 made 3-point field goals. The scoring was spread around for the Wildcats, with seven players scoring in double figures, led by Tony Delk's 15 points. This was Kentucky's third-largest margin of victory in an SEC Tournament game, and the largest since Feb. 28, 1947.
1994: No. 10 Kentucky led an aerial assault, making an astounding 16 3-point field goals, that propelled the Wildcats to a 90-78 upset victory over No. 1 Arkansas in the SEC Tournament semifinals in Memphis. The Wildcats were also very unselfish on offense, having 24 assists on their 29 made field-goals. Kentucky's defense was great as well, limiting Arkansas to shoot just 32.1 percent from the field. Five players scored in double figures for Kentucky, led by Tony Delk's 16 points. This was Kentucky's first victory over the top-ranked team in the Associated Press Poll since Dec. 15, 1979.
1995: No. 3 Kentucky showed true toughness and grit, overcoming a first-half deficit of 19 points, and an overtime deficit of nine points, to defeat No. 5 Arkansas 95-93 in a thrilling comeback for the SEC Tournament championship. The Wildcats were able to overcome a poor shooting performance from behind the arc, making just three of their 18 three-point attempts, by making 24 of their 32 free-throw attempts. Freshman Antoine Walker led the Wildcats in scoring with 23 points.
2005: No. 4 Kentucky relied on the heroic play of senior Chuck Hayes, on both ends of the court, to prevail over LSU 79-78 in an overtime thriller in the SEC Tournament semifinals. With the Wildcats trailing 78-77, Hayes made a difficult layup with eight seconds left to give Kentucky the slim one-point lead. On LSU's last-ditch attempt at a win, Hayes came up big yet again, blocking the Tigers' shot at the rim to preserve the victory. The Wildcats ended the game on a 6-0 run to complete the comeback win. Junior Kelenna Azubuike led Kentucky in scoring with 19 points.