Kentucky lost two of its final five games and appeared an unlikely contender for the national championship.
However, the team that would be known as the Fiddlin' Five played sweet music as the Wildcats won their fourth national championship.
Johnny Cox scored 23 points in UK's 94-70 NCAA-opening victory over Miami of Ohio. The next night, the Wildcats won the Mideast Regional by handing Notre Dame one of the worst defeats in Irish history, 89-56. Vernon Hatton scored 26 points, and the Wildcats held Notre Dame's Tom Hawkins to 15 and advanced to the Final Four in Louisville.
In the semifinals, UK faced a Temple team it had beaten 85-83 in triple overtime during the regular season. Hatton, whose shot from midcourt sent the first game into a second overtime, was a hero again — his basket with 16 seconds left gave Kentucky a 61-60 victory over the Owls.
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Kentucky won the championship by defeating Seattle and Elgin Baylor 84-72.
Herald-Leader staff report