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UK Sports Network to air classic March Madness games

There will even be unique pregame shows with players and coaches from those special games.

NCAA Men’s Championship Game - Kansas v Kentucky Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Due to the Coronavirus epidemic, sports in America have completely disappeared.

That includes the 2020 NCAA Tournament, which was sadly cancelled last week in hopes of helping prevent the spread of the virus across America.

Thankfully, UK Athletics is giving fans a way to still enjoy classic March Madness games.

Via the UK Sports Network, six classic games will return to radio in the coming weeks with the launching of “Kentucky Classics, presented by UK HealthCare.”

Beginning Thursday, the UK Sports Network and its affiliates will air six classic Kentucky Wildcats basketball postseason games on the radio with a pregame show hosted by Tom Leach. Each pregame show will feature Leach and guests, including players and coaches from the classic matchup who discuss their experiences in said games.

The Don Franklin Auto Countdown to Tipoff and all games will be broadcast in Lexington on 630 WLAP, in Louisville on 840 WHAS, online at UKathletics.com and on UK Sports Network affiliates. A full listing of the affiliates can be found at UKathletics.com/UKSportsNetwork.

Here is the entire schedule:

Thursday, March 19

2 p.m. – Don Franklin Auto Countdown to Tipoff, hosted by Tom Leach

2:30 p.m. - Kentucky vs. Louisville (March 31, 2012)

Kentucky’s second consecutive trip to the Final Four brought a familiar foe when they arrived in New Orleans. The Wildcats, ranked No. 1 in the final Associated Press Top 25, had to go through Louisville to reach the program’s first national championship game since 1998. It was the first postseason matchup between the two programs since 1984 and created one of the most memorable Final Four environments in decades.

Saturday, March 21

7 p.m. – Don Franklin Auto Countdown to Tipoff, hosted by Tom Leach

7:30 p.m. – Kentucky vs. Ohio State (March 25, 2011)

Facing the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament, Brandon Knight and Josh Harrellson led the way for Kentucky in this Sweet Sixteen matchup with Ohio State. The victory by the No. 4 seed Wildcats would send the team to the Elite Eight for the second consecutive year and, eventually, to John Calipari’s first Final Four as the Kentucky head coach.

Friday, March 27

7 p.m. – Don Franklin Auto Countdown to Tipoff, hosted by Tom Leach

7:30 p.m. – Kentucky vs. Duke (March 27, 1978)

In what might still be the greatest championship game performance ever, Kentucky senior forward Jack “Goose” Givens scored 41 points at the Checkerdome in St. Louis for head coach Joe B. Hall. The victory gave Kentucky its fifth national championship and first since 1958.

Sunday, March 29

2 p.m. – Don Franklin Auto Countdown to Tipoff, hosted by Tom Leach

2:30 p.m. - Kentucky vs. Syracuse (April 1, 1996)

Still regarded by some as the greatest college basketball team of all-time, the 1996 Kentucky Wildcats cut down the nets for the program’s sixth national championship. Most Outstanding Player Tony Delk made seven 3-point shots to lead a roster that featured nine players who would go on to play in the NBA.

Saturday, April 4

2 p.m. - Don Franklin Auto Countdown to Tipoff, hosted by Tom Leach

3 p.m. - Kentucky vs. Utah (March 30, 1998)

Known as “The Comeback Cats,” Tubby Smith’s first Kentucky team didn’t make it easy on itself in its march to the national championship game. After coming back in wins over Stanford and Duke, the Wildcats faced off with Utah and followed the same postseason script. The Wildcats rallied from 10 down en route to winning the program’s seventh national championship and second in three seasons.

Monday, April 6

7 p.m. – Don Franklin Auto Countdown to Tipoff, hosted by Tom Leach

8 p.m. - Kentucky vs. Kansas (April 2, 2012)

Starting three freshmen and two sophomores, a young Kentucky team used defense to propel itself to New Orleans in 2012. A defensive performance for the ages from Anthony Davis underscored a dominant 38-2 season, giving Kentucky its eighth national championship and Calipari’s first as a head coach.

Go Cats!