Herald-Leader columnist John Clay's 10 most memorable UK-IU basketball games.
10. Dec. 4, 1993
No. 21 Indiana 96, No. 1 Kentucky 84: Damon Bailey scored 29 points as the Hoosiers upset the top-ranked Cats in the Big Four Classic in the Hoosier Dome. Bailey made 16 of 19 free throws for the game in front of a crowd of 38,197. Kentucky made just nine of 33 three-pointers.
9. Dec. 2, 1989
No. 14 Indiana 71, Kentucky 69: This was the first Rick Pitino vs. Bobby Knight battle. Played before 40,128 in the Hoosier Dome, probation-saddled Kentucky nearly pulled off the upset. The Cats led 36-32 at the half as Pitino showed that he was not going to back down against the legendary coach. Deron Feldhaus scored 23 for Kentucky. Indiana got 16 points and 10 rebounds from Lawrence Funderburke, whose recruitment had helped land UK in trouble under Eddie Sutton.
8. Dec. 11, 1971
Indiana 90, No. 7 Kentucky 89 (2 OT): This was the first Bob Knight vs. Adolph Rupp meeting after Knight went from Army to IU. Steve Downing scored 47 points and snatched 25 rebounds as the Hoosiers upset Rupp's Wildcats in Freedom Hall. Stan Key hit a 15-footer with six seconds remaining in regulation to send the game to its first overtime. Jim Andrews scored 22 for UK.
7. Dec. 7, 1996
No. 6 Kentucky 99, No. 8 Indiana 65: The night Bob Knight had to sit there and simply take it. Rick Pitino's Cats were hitting on all cylinders in Freedom Hall. The Cats led 55-31 at halftime over the helpless Hoosiers. Derek Anderson finished with 30 points and Ron Mercer added 26 for the winners. UK would go on to lose to Arizona in overtime in the national championship game.
6. Dec. 15, 1975
No. 1 Indiana 77, No. 14 Kentucky 68 (OT): A falling Kent Benson tipped/batted/volleyballed in a Tom Abernethy miss with nine seconds left in Freedom Hall to send the game into overtime. "I hit it with my full hand, right in the palm," Benson told Bob Hammel of the Bloomington Herald-Telephone after the game. In the extra period, the Hoosiers dominated UK 13-4 to get a bit of revenge for the Mideast Regional finals the March before. Benson and Scott May each scored 27 points for the Hoosiers. Jack Givens led UK with 20. Indiana would continue on to a 32-0 national championship season, the last school to finish unbeaten.
5. Dec. 21, 2002
No. 18 Kentucky 70, No. 6 Indiana 64: This was the infamous Mike Davis technical foul game. Keith Bogans scored 19 points as the Cats beat the Hoosiers before 20,053 in Freedom Hall. Yet surely all anyone talked about afterward was how Davis, the emotional IU coach, came all the way out on the floor to protest what he thought was an uncalled Kentucky foul. Davis went all the way to the paint protesting over and over before official Bert Smith finally gave the Indiana coach a technical foul, then another and an ejection.
4. March 17, 1973 (Mideast Regional finals)
No. 6 Indiana 72, No. 17 Kentucky 65: Steve Downing scored 23 points as IU earned a trip to the Final Four by beating Joe B. Hall's first Kentucky team in Nashville. Jim Andrews scored 23 for UK. This was the sophomore season for UK's "Super Kittens," the highly acclaimed freshman class that would make it to the Final Four two years later, by beating Indiana.
3. March 24, 1983 (Mideast Regional semifinal)
No. 12 Kentucky 64, No. 5 Indiana 59: The game before the Dream Game. Kenny Walker scored 13 points in 22 minutes off the bench to help the Cats beat IU in Knoxville. Randy Wittman scored 18 for the Hoosiers. The Cats would go on to play Louisville in the regional final, a much-anticipated game between two teams that did not play on a regular basis at that time. Louisville won in overtime. As for UK-IU, this was the last time the two would meet in the NCAA Tournament before Friday's game in Atlanta.
2. Dec. 7, 1974
No. 3 Indiana 98, No. 15 Kentucky 74: The famous head-slap game. This was the precursor to the UK-Indiana rematch in the NCAA Tournament the following March. In December in Bloomington, the Hoosiers had their way with Joe B. Hall's Cats. Kent Benson scored 26 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, while UK freshman center Rick Robey managed just six points and seven rebounds in 20 minutes. Later, Robey said he learned a valuable lesson from Benson's sharp elbow. The most memorable contact, however, occurred on the sidelines, where Knight either slapped or tapped — depending on your point of view — the back of Hall's head. Knight claimed it was an act of endearment. Hall did not see it that way.
1. March 22, 1975
(NCAA Mideast Regional finals)
No. 5 Kentucky 92, No. 1 Indiana 90: Indiana was 31-0 when Kentucky upset Bob Knight's Hoosiers in a dramatic showdown in Dayton, Ohio. Guards Mike Flynn (9-for-13) and Jimmy Dan Conner (8-for-20) combined to make 17 of 33 shots as the Cats upset title favorite Indiana, while the TV cameras continually showed a crying Nancy Knight in the stands. Kent Benson scored 33 points for IU, whose chances were hurt by Scott May's broken wrist. The All-American tried to play with a cast on his left forearm, but scored just two points in seven minutes. Kentucky would advance to the national championship game, where the Cats lost to UCLA.
Dec. 12, 1970: No. 5 Kentucky 95, No. 11 Indiana 93 (OT). George McGinnis scored 38 points for the Hoosiers in the old Indiana Fieldhouse, but Kentucky pulled out the win thanks to Tom Parker scoring nine of his 24 points in overtime. UK trailed 74-67 with 5:36 left but rallied to force overtime.
Jan. 3, 1993: No. 3 Kentucky 81, No. 4 Indiana 78. UK won the meeting between top-five teams in Louisville, thanks to 29 points each from Travis Ford and Jamal Mashburn. Calbert Cheaney and Matt Nover each scored 29 points for the Hoosiers. Kentucky made 16 of 41 three-point shots.