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JAMIE H. VAUGHT: Some Leftovers From Kentucky-Kansas Showdown


Kentucky and Kansas have battled numerous times over the years. But I only remember a couple of UK-KU matchups really well prior to last Saturday night’s showdown between traditional powerhouses.

The rest of the encounters in the series, for the most part, have been a blur, but I unfortunately do recall watching undermanned Kentucky’s horrible 150-95 loss at Lawrence on television during coach Rick Pitino’s first year in Lexington.

The first one that I covered as a sportswriter was the 1978 miracle performed by Joe B. Hall’s Wildcats in a wild, stunning victory over Ted Owens’ Jayhawks at Rupp Arena. UK trailed by six points with 30 seconds remaining but somehow fought back in winning the overtime classic. I still have a yellowed newspaper copy of my front-page article of that exciting contest.

That Kentucky team, led by junior star Kyle Macy and freshman sensation Dwight Anderson, went on to finish the 1978-79 campaign with a 19-12 mark, including a first-round overtime loss to Clemson in the NIT at Rupp Arena.

The other one that I remember is the 2012 national championship game in New Orleans when Kentucky defeated Kansas 67-59 before a crowd of 70,913 fans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, ending its 14-year drought of the NCAA title. That was a big highlight of my writing career.

Click here for the full column appearing in Lexington's KyForward.com.


Kentucky freshman Malik Monk, shown here warming up prior to the Kansas game Saturday night, is leading the SEC in scoring with a 21.7-point average. (Photo by Jamie H. Vaught)


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