Shelby Valley returns to Rupp Arena this week to defend its 2010 Sweet Sixteen championship, but the rebuilt Wildcats are regarded as million-to-one shots at carrying another big trophy back to the mountains.
That means Fairdale will likely hold on to its claim as the last school to win back-to-back boys' state titles.
Stan Hardin, who coached Fairdale to those consecutive championships in 1990 and '91, appreciates the Bulldogs' accomplishment more every year.
"A lot of good teams have had a chance to win it back-to-back over the last 20 years, but nobody's been able to do it," he said. "It makes you realize just how hard it is, and how special it was that we did it."
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Among the teams that have had enough returning starters to win two in a row were Paintsville, Ballard, Scott County, Mason County and Warren Central.
Fairdale's talented trio of Jermaine Brown, Maurice Morris and Carlos Turner was able to follow up its 1990 title in Louisville's Freedom Hall with a repeat performance in 1991 in Rupp Arena.
Shelby Valley, on the other hand, graduated its top eight players, including Mr. Basketball Elisha Justice, and lost its coach, Jason Booher, who left to take over at Holmes.
Life of Riley
Warren Central Coach Tim Riley has the Dragons in the state tournament for the eighth time in 10 years. Nobody has been in the Sweet Sixteen that often in that short of a span since Bobby Keith guided Clay County to the Big Show eight times in nine years starting in 1984.
Christian County, Lexington Catholic, Shelby Valley and Wayne County were district runners-up but bounced back to win region titles.
History says it'll be difficult for them to win a state title.
No district runner-up has won the championship since Hopkinsville in 1985.
Lafayette is probably the most famous runner-up to win it all. The Generals were champs in 1979, finishing with a 36-1 record. Their lone loss was to Tates Creek in the district finals.
Benchmark for victories
When Perry County Central and Wayne County meet in the first round, their coaches will probably set a record for most victories combined.
Perry Central's Allan Hatcher has 745 career wins, including his days coaching high school ball in West Virginia. Wayne County's Rodney Woods has 725 wins, including a coaching stint in Tennessee.
Bobcats' magic moment
Bell County won the 13th Region title for the first time since 1980, setting off a sweet celebration.
"To say the least, it's been wild," Bobcats Coach Lewis Morris said. "The caravan from Corbin (after the region finals) was 5 miles long. There were people in the streets hollering and screaming, cars on the side of the road all the way back.
"This week at school, they sold 1,000 tickets like it was nothing, and they're ordering more. T-shirts are going like crazy. People are coming out of the woodwork.
"It's a good atmosphere in Bell County right now."
Sixty years ago Clark County, led by Linville Puckett and Lewis Snowden, won the state title.
Fifty years ago, Ashland, led by Larry Conley, Bob Hilton and Harold Sergent, swept to the championship.
Twenty-five years ago, Pulaski County, led by Reggie Hanson and Shannon Fraley, took the title. Fraley, son of Maroons Coach Dave Fraley, hit a game-winning layup in the closing seconds.
Christian County and Lexington Catholic are the trigger-happiest teams from long range in the Sweet Sixteen.
Christian County has made 217 of 619 three-point attempts. Lexington Catholic has hit 209 of 608. The Knights' Scott Schuette is the most prolific shooter from behind the arc, having made 105 of 282 threes.