As Big Blue Nation celebrates the Kentucky Wildcats’ win over the North Carolina Tar Heels on Saturday night, it is a feeling we have had more often in the series since John Calipari came to Lexington.
Don’t believe it? Let’s dive in.
With the 98-69 victory in Las Vegas Coach Calipari now moves to 7-4 against the Tar Heels in his time at Kentucky, which would be the best stretch the Cats have had in the history of the series.
Now ,I know what you are thinking, what about the time Tubby won four straight matchups? Well, he then lost four straight, giving him a 4-4 record overall.
Going back even further, in the first 22 meetings, which would be before Tubby arrived back in Lexington, Kentucky only held six (!!!) wins in the matchup. Five of which came under Adolph Rupp, and the other coming from Joe B Hall in 1974. Rick Pitino did not record a win.
In fact, Coach Cal is the only coach who has played UNC multiple times to have not lost consecutive games in this series in program history.
Even though the series is not played annually anymore, Calipari has racked up three CBS Sports Classic wins, three wins inside Rupp Arena, and has also added one NCAA Tournament win. Saturday's 29-point margin of victory is also the second most in the series behind a 39-point victory by Kentucky in 1950.
What also makes this run so impressive? Well, you don't have to look much further than who the coach was on the other sideline in Roy Williams. A fellow member of the Hall of Fame, Williams consistently trotted out quality basketball teams, which led to some all-time great matchups between the two schools. Kentucky fans have felt both extremes when it comes to the outcomes of this game in the last 13 seasons.
Thankfully under Coach Cal, those feelings have been good ones more times than not.