UK basketball documentary

Rupp to Cal, Wildcats profiled

turner sports examines roots of fandom

March 6, 2013 

Kentucky coach John Calipari exhorted his team during the Mississippi State game Wednesday. Photo by Mark Cornelison | Staff

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Kentucky's basketball tradition will be the subject of an upcoming documentary.

The Wildcats are featured in a Turner Sports special titled Bluegrass Kingdom: The Gospel of Kentucky Basketball, an hour-long look at notable periods and figures in the program's history. Debuting March 17 on TruTV after the 68-team NCAA Tournament field is selected, the show also features interviews with Kentucky Coach John Calipari and former players such as Miami Heat president Pat Riley and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who helped earn the school's eighth championship last spring.

Starting with UK's rise to prominence under Adolph Rupp, the documentary examines the racial and historical significance of Texas Western's 1966 championship upset of the Wildcats with an all-black starting lineup. The tenures of Joe B. Hall, Eddie Sutton, Rick Pitino and Calipari are also profiled.

Kentucky's impact and reach around the state is also reviewed from differing racial angles.

"We wanted to show just how deep the roots go with this program to the sport of college basketball and to Kentucky," said Christina Miller, Turner Sports senior vice president of marketing and strategy. "It's a look at the program from all points of view and how it galvanizes a whole town and the state.

"They are the defending champions and the timing works out well, but it's really rich with story lines."

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