Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball

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Customers can purchase tickets to enjoy a variety of movies. Both of these teams were composed entirely of native Kentuckians, anchored by All-American Basil Hayden. The tournament victory was considered Kentucky's first major success, and the team became known as the "Wonder Team. In , the team was unable to build on the success of the "Wonder Team. Hayden returned from his knee injury during the season, but was never able to play at the level he had the previous year.

Ridgeway fought a year-long battle with diphtheria , and although he recovered, never played for the Wildcats again. The remaining three members of the "Wonder Team" went 9—5 for the season, and bowed out of the SIAA tournament in the second round.

Buchheit remained as coach through the season before moving on to coach Trinity College later Duke University. A different coach would guide the team for each of the next four years. Applegran immediately followed Buchheit, and his team posted a respectable 13—8 record. Applegran in college had played for the University of Illinois, where he became an All-American.

Seeing the cupboard largely bare for the upcoming year, Eklund resigned shortly before the start of the season. The team scrambled to find a new coach, and former player Basil Hayden left his coaching job at Kentucky Wesleyan College to answer the call. An inexperienced coach and a roster largely depleted of talent left the Wildcats with a 3—13 record that year. The disappointment convinced Hayden that he wasn't the "coaching type", and he resigned after the season.

Fortunately for the Wildcats, would be their last losing season for six decades. The Wildcats' new coach for the season was John Mauer. Although he had a talented group of players moving up from the junior varsity team , Mauer quickly discovered that his players didn't know the fundamentals of the game. He began a regimen of three-hour practices five days a week during the preseason.

The practice began with half an hour of shooting drills and usually ended with a full-court scrimmage. Between the two, Mauer worked on skill drills and scenarios. Mauer's teams were nicknamed the "Mauermen. Teamwork was the hallmark of Mauer's system. Every player worked on every aspect of the game; there were no specialists. Like Buchheit, Mauer employed a strong man-to-man defense. He utilized a slow-break offense that relied on a complicated system of short passes to get a good shot.

Two elements of Mauer's system were new to basketball in the south — the offensive screen and the bounce pass. The latter was so new to most of UK's opponents that it was referred to as the "submarine attack. Over his three-year tenure, Mauer led the Wildcats to an overall record of 40— One major prize eluded him, however. Despite having teams that were almost universally acknowledged as the "class of the South", Mauer never led a team to the Southern Conference title.

Despite his innate ability for coaching, Mauer lacked the ability to heighten his team's emotions for a big game, a fault that was cited as the reason for his lack of tournament success. Mauer left the Wildcats to coach the Miami University Redskins following the season. In , the university hired Adolph Rupp , who had played as a reserve for the University of Kansas and Helms National Championship teams, [14] under coach Forest C. At the time of his hiring, Rupp was a high school coach in Freeport, Illinois.

Rupp coached the University of Kentucky men's basketball team from to Rupp, who was an early innovator of the fast break and set offense, quickly gained a reputation as an intense competitor, a strict motivator, and a fine strategist, often driving his teams to great levels of success. Rupp's Kentucky teams also finished ranked No. Rupp's and Kentucky squads were also awarded the Helms National Championship, and his and teams were retroactively recognized as the national champion by the Premo-Porretta Power Poll.

One of Rupp's early successful teams, he would give the '44 team the nickname "the Beardless Wonders" and "Wildkittens" because according to Rupp, "It was like running a Kindergarten. The Beardless Wonders would win nineteen of their twenty-one games, enough to be invited into the NIT. There they would be matched up with an equally young and talented Utah team nicknamed the "Blitz Kids. Kentucky would lose the next game to home town Saint John's. Of these three losses, all were either away or at neutral sites, keeping Kentucky undefeated at home throughout the entire season.

Kentucky started off the beginning of the season with a 7—0 record heading into their away game at Temple. However, Temple was able to give the Cats their first loss by one point, 60— Still, this loss was not enough to keep the Wildcats down, as they rolled off an win streak before playing at Notre Dame, where they lost 55— They would not lose a game for the rest of the regular season. Kentucky won its first NCAA title in a decisive 77—59 victory. This was performance enough to help represent the United States in the Olympic Games.

Despite only being a college team, the starting 5 of Kentucky would help defeat all of its competition in London, making Kentucky the only team to win both a NCAA title and an Olympic gold medal.

Adolph Rupp soon gave this team the nickname "The Fabulous Five", in honor of their accomplishments. For the season Kentucky had high expectations with most of the Fabulous Five returning. Big Blue Nation's expectations were met as the team won one more game than the previous year including both a SEC regular season and SEC tournament championship, while also getting back to the Final Four that March.

Kentucky was the second program in NCAA history to win back-to-back championships there have been six other schools since. With a returning star player like Bill Spivey, Kentucky hoped to carry their success into the new decade.

All didn't look well after the Wildcats lost their first game by 11 to Saint John's at home, but they would pull it together for the Sugar Bowl Tournament which they won beating NCAA runner up Bradley.

Heading into rival Tennessee now No. After losing to Tennessee, Kentucky would struggle to chain two wins together, losing every other game. They would defeat their next fourteen opponents, including getting revenge in SEC tournament championship over Tennessee. Heading into the post-season, No. They are the only team in college basketball history to accomplish this feat.

Coming off a successful but titleless season, the Wildcats continued their dominance into the new decade. Over the season Kentucky would defeat four top 15 teams including four top 10 teams, and would be ranked in the top 5 the entire season. And with only one loss heading into the SEC tournament it looked like Kentucky would once again claim both SEC championships and their dominance over their conference. Vanderbilt had a different idea however, and would knock off the top ranked Wildcats in the SEC tournament finals denying them an eighth straight SEC tournament title.

Adolph Rupp was the head coach at Kentucky during the year of the point shaving scandal of In former Kentucky football player Nick Englisis met Kentucky basketball legend Ralph Beard while the two played football at Kentucky.

Englisis entered the gambling business when he left the football team in , then approached three Kentucky basketball players Ralph Beard, Alex Groza , and Dale Barnstable with his associates in late about potentially point shaving fixing the score of games during the upcoming season in exchange for money.

The three players agreed to point shave and successfully shaved points in several games during the — season until an effort to point shave caused the Wildcats to lose to the Loyola Ramblers in the National Invitation Tournament.

Groza, Beard, and Barnstable attempted to win the game under the point spread but kept the score too close, allowing the Ramblers to win the game with an impressive performance at the end of the second half. Kentucky faced Villanova in their first game of the NCAA Tournament following the loss to Loyola and the three players attempted to win over the point spread. When Groza, Beard, and Barnstable failed to win over the point spread, it caused Englisis to lose all of his money and ended the point shaving deals between Englisis and these three players.

At the conclusion of this scandal, a subsequent NCAA investigation found that Kentucky had committed several rule violations, including giving illegal spending money to players on several occasions, and also allowing some ineligible athletes to compete. Years later, Walter Byers , the first executive director of the NCAA, unofficially referred to this punishment as the first de facto NCAA death penalty , despite the current rule first coming into effect in , thus the NCAA having no such enforcement power previous to that.

Byers' view, the NCAA's official stance is very much the same, and they now state in hindsight, "In effect, it was the Association's first death penalty, though its enforcement was binding only through constitutional language that required members to compete against only those schools that were compliant with NCAA rules. Despite fears that it would resist, Kentucky accepts the penalty and, in turn, gives the NCAA credibility to enforce its rules.

The team returned with a vengeance the next year, posting a perfect 25—0 record Rupp's only undefeated season , for which it was awarded the Helms National Championship. In addition, Kentucky also finished ranked No.

On the team were three players who had graduated at the conclusion of the previous academic year. Early into the season it was obvious that the "Fiddlin' Five" were not like Rupp's teams earlier in the decade.

They played around and made mistakes, which Rupp described as fiddling. In fact the Fiddlin' Five still has the most losses out of any Kentucky's championships, with six, three of those were in four games.

Unlike the Fab Five or the teams, the Fiddling Five would yoyo in the rankings with their lowest a No. Kentucky would catch fire through the tournament though and would win their fourth title over No. Texas Western won the game 72—65, on the night of March 19, Contrary to popular belief, this game was not a huge "upset" as while Kentucky entered the tournament with only one loss and ranked No. Kentucky was a 6. This game, and the result of it, were especially significant as the game came at a time when the civil rights movement was coming into full swing around the country.

In , after actively recruiting black players for over six years his first formal scholarship offer was to Wes Unseld in , despite most of the other SEC teams threatening to boycott if a black player took the court , Rupp finally signed his first black player, Tom Payne , an athletic 7'-1" center out of Louisville.

Over the next four years Issel would score an average of This made Issel the player with the most points to ever play at Kentucky, a feat that has to this day not been matched. This included his 53 points scored against Mississippi State in , the most by a Kentucky player in a single game and breaking the previous record of 51 points held by Cliff Hagan.

Issel would not capture the national championship in his college years but would go on to make a name for himself in the ABA. Rupp was forced into retirement in March , after reaching age At the time, this was the mandatory retirement age for all University of Kentucky employees. Further, since , the Adolph Rupp Trophy , considered one of the nation's premier basketball awards, has been given by Commonwealth Athletic Club to the nation's top men's college basketball player.

In addition, the University of Kentucky retired a jersey in his honor in the rafters of Rupp Arena , a 23,seat arena named after him, dedicated in Hall was the head basketball coach at Kentucky from to Although he had been an assistant at Kentucky since , Coach Hall was given a difficult task: His record at UK was —, and — over his career. Coach Hall would win the title once in as well as making the final four in and , and the elite eight in , , , The only others to achieve this feat are:.

After a year of playing in the freshman league and a disappointing sophomore season, Hall's Super Kittens returned with hopes of finally bringing Kentucky its fifth title.

Despite losing in the championship game, it would give freshman Jack Givens a taste for success that would help propel Kentucky to the title three years later. It had been twenty years without a championship in Lexington, and along with pressure of following a hall of fame coach, Hall would nickname the season the "Season Without Celebration. Kentucky would hardly lose its composure all season or break under pressure, winning 30 of 32 games and defeating eight ranked teams along the way.

By the time Kentucky reached the tournament finals they seemed bound to win the title, though Duke would give Kentucky their all.

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