Victories 501-1,000

Four national titles, a new $3.9 million, 11,500-seat coliseum and the 'Voice of the Wildcats'

December 23, 2009 

March 23, 1948: Adolph Rupp's "Fabulous Five" wins UK's first NCAA championship, 58-42, over Baylor. The team is met in Lexington by 15,000 fans and given a parade.

Aug. 13, 1948: The U.S. Olympic basketball team, featuring UK's Fabulous Five, wins the gold medal by defeating France, 64-21, at Wembley Stadium in London.

1949-1950: Bill Spivey is the first 7-footer to play for UK.

March 26, 1949: UK wins its second consecutive NCAA championship, defeating Oklahoma A&M 46-36 in Seattle.

Dec. 1, 1950: UK plays its first game in the new, $3.9 million, 11,500-seat Memorial Coliseum.

March 27, 1951: UK wins its third NCAA title, defeating Kansas State 68-58 in Minneapolis. UK is the first team to win three NCAA titles.

Oct. 20, 1951: Alex Groza, Ralph Beard and Dale Barnstable are charged with accepting bribes for point-shaving in a 1949 game against Loyola.

1952-53: UK's season is suspended by the NCAA.

Dec. 5, 1953: Cawood Ledford broadcasts his first game as the radio "Voice of the Wildcats."

Jan. 8, 1955: Georgia Tech defeats UK, 59-58, in Memorial Coliseum, ending a 129-game home winning streak.

Dec. 7, 1957: In the longest game in UK history, the Cats defeat Temple 85-83 in three overtimes. Vernon Hatton's 47-foot bomb from midcourt ties it up at the end of the first overtime. Hatton scores UK's final six points to edge the Owls.

March 21, 1958: Vernon Hatton's layup with 17 seconds left pushes the Wildcats past Temple, 61-60, and into the NCAA championship game.

March 22, 1958: The "Fiddlin' Five" gives UK its fourth NCAA title by defeating Seattle, 84-72, in Louisville. UK is led by Vernon Hatton's 30 points.

March 19, 1966: In Rupp's last appearance in the Final Four, "Rupp's Runts" lose in the NCAA championship game, 72-65, to Texas Western.

Jan. 27, 1968: At the time, it was believed that Rupp became college basketball's all-time winningest coach when the Wildcats overcame a record-setting 52 points by LSU's Pete Maravich to defeat the Tigers, 121-95. Years later, it was discovered that he had achieved that feat on Feb. 18, 1967, with a 103-74 win over Mississippi State.

Jan. 18, 1969: On the road against its oldest rival, UK becomes the first team in college basketball history to win 1,000 games, defeating Tennessee, 69-66.

SOURCES: UK Athletics; KET; The Winning Tradition: A History of Kentucky Wildcat Basketball, by Nelli and Nelli; A Legacy of Champions, by Rick Bozich, Pat Forde, C. Ray Hall and Mark Woods.

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service