With college basketball season here, we’re taking a look at the Kentucky Wildcats’ five biggest wins in the last five seasons.
In that span, they’ve beaten top five teams, advanced to the Sweet 16 twice and Elite Eight once, have won epic games over Louisville, Tennessee, and other rivals, bested blue bloods, and more. Let’s dive in:
#5. 1/27/18: Knox’s 34 lead UK to 17-point comeback road win over #7 Mountaineers
Down 17, on the road against the #7 team in the country that runs a full-court press the entire game. None of it mattered for Kevin Knox and the Kentucky Wildcats, as his 34-point performance carried them to a signature 83-76 win that very few saw coming. It was the signature win on this Kentucky team’s resume, especially since they didn’t do much when the NCAAs rolled around.
#4. 1/29/22: Kentucky runs Kansas out of Allen Fieldhouse
Similar to the WVU win mentioned above, this was UK’s biggest win of the 2021-2022 season due to a lack of postseason success but boy was this an impressive win. The stats do not lie—Allen Fieldhouse has been the most difficult building to win in for the past two decades and #12 Kentucky absolutely shellacked #5 Kansas by 18 in a game that was never in doubt. Oscar Tshiebwe had 17 points and 14 boards, Keion Brooks played the game of his life and scored 27, and the entire country immediately realized how scary the Kentucky Wildcats were at their best.
#3. 3/29/19: Herro’s 3 sends UK to the Elite Eight
There’s no more exhilarating feeling for a college basketball fan than when your team is down with less than thirty seconds left and then BANG! They hit a three and take the lead! That’s exactly what Tyler Herro did for UK after a big-time block by PJ Washington, and the ‘Cats held on to win 62-58. I watched the entire game but only remember that shot—I’ll probably never forget it.
#2. 3/7/20: Tip-In in Gainesville
There were several great ones in the cut-short season, but this one had the sweetest finish. After trailing by as many as 18 points, the ‘Cats slowly clawed back until with 0:27 left Florida turned the ball over while up 70-69. UK had to come away with points on this critical possession, and EJ Montgomery, who had struggled all season and the season prior, tipped in a Keion Brooks Jr. miss in his final game in Kentucky blue to put the ‘Cats up 71-70 after trailing for the entirety of the game. Florida’s three-point heave at the buzzer was no good, and the ‘Cats started celebrating.
#1. 12/28/19: Overtime triumph over #3 Louisville
What else could top the list but a win over the Cards? Louisville was ranked 3rd in the country when they came to Rupp Arena after Christmas, and the Cats were coming off losses to Utah and Ohio State. With the Cardinals being as good as they were and Kentucky determined to defend their home court, this became one of the best games in the history of the rivalry. It almost ended on a Keion Brooks tip-in at the end of regulation, but it rimmed out. That would have sent Rupp nuts, but instead, we got the first OT game between UK and U of L since 1983, and it did not disappoint. UK’s greatest wins come in the NCAA Tournament, but those don’t happen in Rupp Arena like wins over the Redbirds do.