VIDEO REWIND | 1998 NCAA Tournament

Seated (l to r): Assistant Coach Mike Sutton, Head Coach Orlando "Tubby" Smith, Saul Smith, Cameron Mills, Jeff Sheppard, Wayne Turner, Steve Masiello, Assistant Coach George Felton, Assistant Coach Shawn Finney. Standing: Special Assistant Leon Smith, Administrative Assistant Simeon Mars, Equipment Manager Bill Keightley, Ryan Hogan, Heshimu Evans, Scott Padgett, Nazr Mohammed, Jamaal Magloire, Michael Bradley, Myron Anthony, Allen Edwards, Trainer Eddie Jamiel, Strength Coach Tom Boyd

“THE COMEBACK CATS”

You’ve probably relived it a thousand times. Either through your own memory or the hundreds of archives available. But its worth reliving one more time.

The 1998 NCAA Tournament. Kentucky is awarded a No. 2 seed in the South Regional. A Regional where the No. 1 seed is its arch rival Duke. The team that only 6 years before beat our beloved Cats with a last second shot by Christian Laettner in what many called the Greatest College Basketball Game of all times.

Kentucky had just won the National Championship two years before as they defeated Syracuse for their 6th banner and Coach Rick Pitino’s one and only Championship.

Then in 1997, they clawed their way back to the Final Four and the Final game to face off against Arizona. Only this time, they ended up on the short end, losing to the Arizona Wildcats, 84-79.

So many on this team had been there before. With the departure of Rick, Kentucky replaced the most coveted Coaching position in the country with Orlando “Tubby” Smith.The rest was history, played out in the hallowed halls of Rupp and many other arenas around the country, culminating in the Final Four and the Championship Game for the third year in a row:

EAST REGIONAL SEMI-FINALS | UCLA vs. Kentucky

This game was ugly from the beginning as Kentucky jumped all over UCLA, walking away from the Bruins, 94-68.

EAST REGIONAL FINAL | Kentucky vs. Duke

Down by 17 points, 71-54, the Cats storm back behind the play of Wayne Turner to defeat the Duke Blue Devils 86-84.

SEMI-FINAL | Stanford vs. Kentucky

The Cats were down 10 to Stanford before pulling off the victory 86-85.

FINAL | Utah vs Kentucky

For the third year in a row, Rick Majerus met Kentucky in the NCAA tourney, only this time it was for everything. Kentucky trailed by 12 before pulling away late to win the programs 7th National Championship, 78-69.

Jeff Sheppard was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. Look for Cameron Mills on the floor in absolute tears of joy. Raised in Kentucky, Cameron chose to walk on at the University of Kentucky where he eventually earned a scholarship and the hearts of the Big Blue Nation.

One Shining Moment

Other posts of possible interests |

FLASHBACK | February 15, 1994

VIDEO REWIND | 2007 – #17 UK vs. #1 LSU

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Chip Miller can be contacted via e-mail at ukbigbluenation@live.com.
  • This website and information found within are not affiliated with, nor does it represent the views of the University of Kentucky. All images, copyrights, and trademarks on this website are used under the Fair Use Provision of the Copyright Act for purposes of comment and news reporting.
%d bloggers like this: