Sunday, July 19, 2009

UK Basketball: Kentucky's NCAA National Championship Teams







UK 1947-48 NCAA Championship Team
Kentucky 58 - Baylor 42
March 23, 1948 - New York
"The Fabulous Five"
UK's 1947-48 Record: 36-3

Alex Groza and Ralph Beard combined for 26 points and the Wildcats' defense held the Bears to 16 first half points to capture UK's first NCAA title.

The title victory enabled the Wildcats to become only the second team ever to win both the NIT and NCAA titles. UK, which finished the season 34-2, won the NIT title in 1946.

Paced by Groza and Beard, the Wildcats turned a 29-16 halftime lead into a 44-28 bugle midway through the second half. After Baylor rallied to cut the lead to 11, UK put the game out of reach as Wallace "Wah Wah" Jones scored four points to give the Wildcats a 15 point lead.

In addiction to Groza and Beard, the Wildcats also got nine points apiece from Jones and Kenneth Rollins.

BOX SCORE

Kentucky
Player FG FTM FTA PF TP
Jones 4 1 1 3 9
Barker 2 1 3 4 5
Line 3 1 1 3 7
Groza 6 2 4 4 14
Holland 1 0 0 1 2
Beard 4 4 4 1 12
Rollins 3 3 5 3 9
Barnstable 0 0 1 0 0
TOTALS 23 12 19 19 58

Baylor
Player FG FTM FTA PF TP
Owen 2 1 2 0 5
DeWitt 3 2 4 3 8
Hickman 1 0 0 0 2
Pulley 0 1 1 0 1
Heathington 3 2 4 5 8
Preston 0 0 2 2 0
Johnson 3 4 7 5 10
Robinson 3 2 4 4 8
Brack 0 0 0 0 0
TOTALS 15 12 24 19 42

Halftime: UK 29 - Baylor 16
Final: UK 58 - Baylor 42

Final Record: Won: 36; Lost: 3
Head Coach: Adolph Rupp
Assistant Coaches: Harry Lancaster
Manager: Humzey Yessin
Team Captain(s): Ken Rollins
Notes: NCAA Champions; SEC Champions; SEC Tournament Champions; Olympic Champions; Participated in the East Region of the NCAA Tournament





UK 1947-48 NCAA Champions
Front Row: Coach Adolph Rupp, Johnny Stough, Ralph Beard, Kenneth Rollins, Cliff Barker Jr, Dale Barnstable, Asst. Coach Harry Lancaster Second Row: Manager Humzey Yessin, Garland Townes, Jim Jordan, Joe Holland, Alex Groza, Wallace Jones, Jim Line, Roger Day, Trainer Wibert Bud Berger

UK 1947-48 Roster, UK 1947-48 Schedule & Results






UK 1948-49 NCAA Championship Team
Kentucky 46 - Oklahoma A&M 36
March 29, 1949 - Seattle
UK's 1948-49 Record: 32-2

Paced by Alex Groza's 25 points and a defense that limited the Aggies to a mere nine field goals, the Wildcats were crowned NCAA Champions for the second straight year.

Groza, a unanimous selection as the "Player of the Tournament," scored more than twice as many points as any other player. A&M's Jack Shelton was the game's only other player to score in double figures. He finished with 12 points.

The Aggies, coached by Hank Iba, led 5-2, but the Wildcats scored seven straight points, five by Groza, and never trailed again as they took a 25-20 first half lead.

UK extended the lead to 31-21 early in the second half and coasted the rest of the way.

BOX SCORE

Kentucky
Player FG FTM FTA PF TP
Jones 1 1 3 3 3
Line 2 1 2 3 5
Groza 9 7 8 5 25
Beard 1 1 2 4 3
Barker 1 3 3 4 5
Barnstable 1 1 1 1 3
Hirsch 1 0 0 1 2
TOTALS 16 14 19 21 46

Oklahoma A&M
Player FG FTM FTA PF TP
Yates 1 0 0 1 2
Bradley 0 3 5 3 3
Harris 3 1 1 5 7
Parks 2 3 4 5 7
Shelton 3 6 7 4 12
Jaquet 0 1 2 0 1
McArthur 0 2 2 1 2
Pilgrim 0 2 2 1 2
Smith 0 0 0 1 0
TOTALS 9 18 23 21 36

Halftime: UK 25 - Oklahoma A&M 20
Final: UK 46 - Oklahoma A&M 36

Final Record: Won: 32; Lost: 2
Head Coach: Adolph Rupp
Assistant Coaches: Harry Lancaster
Manager: Humzey Yessin
Final Ranking: 1st by AP
Notes: NCAA Champions; SEC Champions; SEC Tournament Champions; Participated in the East Region of the NCAA Tournament




UK 1948-49 NCAA Champions
Front Row: Coach Adolph Rupp, Jim Line, Cliff Barker, John Stough, Ralph Beard, Joe Hall, Garland Townes, Asstistant Coach Harry Landcaster Second Row: Dale Barnstable, Walt Hirsch, Wallace Jones, Alex Groza, Bob Henne, Roger Day, Mgr. Humzey Yessin

UK 1948-49 Roster, UK 1948-49 Schedule & Results






UK 1950-51 NCAA Championship Team
Kentucky 68 - Kansas State 58
Match 27, 1951 - Minneapolis
UK's 1950-51 Record: 32-2

Bill Spivey scored 22 points and an ailing Cliff Hagan sparked the Wildcats to their third NCAA title.

With a squad consisting of only six healthy players - Walt Hirsch was ineligible and Hagan was plagued by an infected throat - the Wildcats hardly looked like championship material as Kansas State broke out to 20-12 lead.

It was then that Rupp inserted ailing Hagan. It was a move that may have proved the difference as the freshman forward sparked a rally that saw UK cut the Kansas State lead to 29-27 at the half.

Led by Hagan and Spivey, who dominated the boards, UK outscored Kansas State 41-29 in the second half to complete the come from-behind-victory.

BOX SCORE

Kentucky
Player FG FTM FTA PF TP
Whitaker 4 1 0 2 9
Linville 2 4 8 5 8
Spivey 9 4 6 2 22
Ramsey 4 1 3 5 9
Watson 3 2 4 3 8
Hagan 5 0 2 5 10
Tsioropoulos 1 0 0 1 2
TOTALS 28 12 23 23 68

Kansas State
Player FG FTM FTA PF TP
Head 3 2 2 5 8
Stone 3 6 8 5 12
Hitch 6 1 1 5 13
Barrett 2 0 2 1 4
Iverson 3 1 2 3 7
Housey 2 0 0 3 4
Gibson 0 1 1 5 1
Upson 0 0 0 1 0
Knotsman 1 1 2 1 3
Peck 2 0 1 1 4
Schuylar 1 0 1 1 2
TOTALS 23 12 20 31 58

Halftime: Kansas State 29 - UK 27
Final: Kentucky 68 - Kansas State 58

Final Record: Won: 32; Lost: 2
Head Coach: Adolph Rupp
Assistant Coaches: Harry Lancaster
Team Captain(s): Walter Hirsch
Final Ranking: 1st by AP and 1st by UPI
Notes: NCAA Champions; SEC Champions; Participated in the East Region of the NCAA Tournament





UK 1950-51 NCAA Champions
Standing: Frank Ramsey, Shelby Linville, Bill Spivey, Roger Lane, Lou Tsioropoulos, Read Morgan
Seated:
Coach Adolph Rupp, Cliff Hagan, C.M. Newton, Walt Hirsch, Paul Lansaw, Dwight Price, Asst. Coach Harry Lancaster Bottom Row: Lindle Castle, Lucian Whitaker, Bobby Watson, Guy Strong, Charles Riddle

UK 1950-51Roster, UK 1950-51 Schedule & Results






UK 1957-58 NCAA Championship Team
Kentucky 84 - Seattle 72
March 22, 1958 - Louisville
"The Fiddlin' Five"
UK's 1957-58 Record: 23-6

Senior Vernon Hatton scored 30 points and the Wildcats overcame a 25-point, 19-rebound performance by Elgin Baylor to capture their fourth NCAA Championship.

Led by Hatton and Johnny Cox, who finished with 24 points, the Wildcats twice battled back from 11-point deficits to gain the victory.

Trailing for much of the game, UK grabbed its first lead with 6:08 when Don Mills hit a hook shoot to give the Wildcats a 61-60 lead. Moments later, Cox hit a jump shot to make it 63-60 and UK never trailed again.

John Crigler added 14 points and 14 rebounds for the victors. Mills and Adrian Smith finished with nine and seven points respectively.

Aside from Baylor, Seattle received 17 points from Charley Brown and 16 from Jerry Frizzell.

NOTE: Not happy with the performance of his players early in the season, Kentucky Coach Adolph Rupp said, "THEY MIGHT BE PRETTY GOOD BARNYARD FIDDLERS, BUT WE HAVE A CARNEGIE HALL SCHEDULE, AND IT WILL TAKE VIOLINIST TO PLAY THAT COMPETITION."

And thus the Wildcats starters an experienced (four seniors, one junior) if anonymous lot became known as "The Fiddlin' Five". The tournament committee held Kentucky in such low that it had scheduled regional play in Lexington and the Final Four in Louisville, thinking the Wildcats would not even qualify; instead, they (Kentucky) reached the finals.

BOX SCORE

Kentucky
Player FGM FGA FTM FTA REB PF TP
Crigler 5 12 4 7 14 4 14
Cox 10 23 4 4 16 3 24
Beck 0 1 0 1 3 4 0
A. Smith 2 8 3 5 6 4 7
Hatton 9 20 12 15 3 3 30
Mills 4 9 1 4 5 3 9
TOTALS 30 73 24 36 47 21 84

Seattle
Player FGM FGA FTM FTA REB PF TP
Prizzell 4 6 8 11 5 3 16
Brown 6 17 5 7 5 5 17
Baylor 9 32 7 9 19 4 25
Harney 2 5 0 1 1 1 4
Saunders0 2 0 0 2 3 0
Ogorek 4 7 2 2 11 5 10
Plasecki 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TOTALS 25 69 22 30 43 21 72

Halftime: Seattle 39 - UK 36
Final: Kentucky 84 - Seattle 72

Final Record: Won: 23; Lost: 6
Head Coach: Adolph Rupp
Assistant Coaches: Harry Lancaster, Bill Wireman
Manager: Jay Atkerson
Team Captain(s): Ed Beck
Final Ranking: 9th by AP and 14th by UPI
Notes: NCAA Champions; SEC Champions; Participated in the Mideast Region of the NCAA Tournament





UK 1957-58 NCAA Champions
Front Row: Coach Adolph Rupp, Adrian Smith, John Crigler, Ed Beck, Don Mills, Johnny Cox, Vernon Hatton, Asst. Coach Harry Lancaster Second Row: Student Manger Jay Atkerson, Earl Adkins, Billy Smith, Phil Johnson, Bill Cassady, Lincoln Collinsworth and Harold Ross

UK 1957-58 Roster, UK 1957-58 Schedule & Results






UK 1977-78 NCAA Championship Team
Kentucky 94 - Duke 88
March 27, 1978 - St. Louis
UK's 1977-78 Record: 30-2

Senior Jack Givens put on one of the finest individual performances in NCAA Championship history in leading the Wildcats past the Blue Devils.

With many fans among the crowd of 18,721 chanting "GOOSE, GOOSE," Givens scored 41 points, three short of the record for a championship game, to help the Wildcats to their fifth NCAA title and first in 20 years.

Givens' dominance was clearly evident in the first half as he scored 23 points, including UK's last 16 of the half, to turn a 29-28 UK lead into a 45-38 cushion. It was a deficit from which the Blue Devils would not recover.

Overall, Givens made 18 of 27 field goal attempts, five of eight free throws and added eight rebounds and three assists.

BOX SCORE

Kentucky
PLAYER MIN FG FT REB A PF TP
Givens 37 18-27 5-8 8 3 4 41
Robey 32 8-11 4-6 11 0 2 20
Phillips 11 1-4 2-2 2 1 5 4
Macy 38 3-3 3-4 0 8 1 9
Claytor 24 3-5 2-4 0 3 2 8
Lee 20 4-8 0-0 4 2 4 8
Shidler 16 1-5 0-1 1 3 3 2
Aleksinas 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 1 0
Williams 10 1-3 0-0 4 0 2 2
Cowan 8 0-2 0-0 2 0 1 0
Stephens 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Courts 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Gettelfinger 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Casey 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
TEAM 0
TOTALS 200 39-58 16-25 32 20 26 94

Duke
PLAYER MIN FG FT REB A PF TP
Banker 37 6-12 10-12 8 2 2 22
Dennard 30 5-7 0-0 8 2 5 12
Gminski 37 6-16 8-8 12 2 3 20
Harrell 24 2-2 0-0 0 1 3 4
Spanarkel 40 8-16 5-6 2 3 4 21
Suddath 9 1-3 2-3 2 0 1 2
Bender 17 1-2 5-5 1 4 3 7
Goetsch 6 0-1 0-0 1 0 1 0
TEAM 0
TOTALS 200 29-59 30-59 35 14 22 88

Technicals - Duke Bench
Halftime: UK 45 - Duke 38
Final: Kentucky 94 - Duke 88

Final Record: Won: 30; Lost: 2
Head Coach: Joe B. Hall
Assistant Coaches: Dick Parsons, Leonard Hamilton, Joe Dean Jr., Frank Ramsey
Final Ranking: 1st by AP and 1st by UPI
Notes: NCAA Champions; SEC Champions; Participated in the Mideast Region of the NCAA Tournament





UK 1977-78 NCAA Champions
Front Row: Coach Joe Hall, Jay Shidler, Dwane Casey, Kyle Macy, Jack Givens, Tim Stephens, Chris Gettelfinger, Truman Claytor, Asstistant Coach Dick Parsons Second Row: Asstistant Trainer Walt McCombs, Manager Don Sullivan, LaVon Williams, Scott Courts, Mike Phillips, Rick Robey, Chuck Aleksinas, Fred Cowan, James Lee, Asstistant Coach Leonard Hamilton, Asstistant Coach Joe Dean Jr.

UK 1977-78 Roster, 1977-78 Schedule & Results






UK 1995-96 NCAA Championship Team
Kentucky 79 - Syracuse 67
April 1, 1996 - East Rutherford, N.J.
"The UnTouchables"
UK's 1995-96 Record: 34-2

Tony Delk tied a championship game record with seven three-pointers and the Wildcats withstood a late Orangemen rally to win UK's sixth national title before a capacity crowd of 19,229 in the Continental Airlines Arena at the Meadowlands.

Delk, the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player, canned seven of 12 three-pointers to lead the Cats with 24 points. But after Syracuse had cut the lead to two, 64-62, with 4:46 remaining, a Delk misfire was tipped in by Walter McCarty to extends UK's lead to four. After holding the Orangemen on the next possession, Dereck Anderson drained a three to push the lead to seven. Sryacuse would get no closer than five in the final minutes.

Delk was joined on the Final Four All-Tournament Team by Freshman Ron Mercer, who was sensational off the bench, scoring a career-high 20 points on 8-12 shooting from the field, including 3-4 from three-point range.

BOX SCORE

Kentucky
PLAYER MIN FG 3FG FT REB F A TO B S TP
Anderson 16 4-8 1-1 1-1 4 2 1 2 0 3 11
Walker 32 4-12 0-1 3-6 9 2 4 0 0 4 11
McCarty 19 2-6 0-0 0-0 7 3 3 1 0 0 4
Delk 37 8-20 7-12 1-2 7 2 2 3 1 2 24
Epps 35 0-6 0-3 0-0 4 1 7 1 0 0 0
Pope 27 1-6 0-2 2-2 3 3 2 4 0 1 4
Mercer 24 8-12 3-4 1-1 2 3 2 0 0 1 20
Sheppard 7 1-2 0-1 0-1 2 3 0 3 0 0 2
Edwards 3 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0
TEAM 2
TOTALS 200 28-73 12-27 8-13 40 19 22 15 1 11 79

Syracuse
PLAYER MIN FG 3FG FT REB F A TO B S TP
Burgan 39 7-10 3-5 2-5 8 5 1 5 0 1 19
Wallace 38 11-19 2-3 5-5 10 5 1 6 1 0 29
Hill 28 3-9 0-0 1-1 10 2 1 3 1 0 7
Sims 39 2-5 1-4 1-2 2 2 7 7 0 1 6
Cipella 35 3-8 0-3 0-0 1 1 2 2 0 4 6
Reafanyder 13 0-1 0-0 0-0 4 0 0 1 0 0 0
Janulis 8 0-0 0-0 0-0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0
Nelson 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM 1
TOTALS 200 26-52 6-15 9-13 38 17 12 24 2 6 67

Halftime: Kentucky 42 - Syracuse 33
Final: Kentucky 79 - Syracuse 67

Final Record: Won: 34; Lost: 2
Head Coach: Rick Pitino
Assistant Coaches: Jim O'Brien, Delray Brooks, Winston Bennett
Team Captain(s): Tony Delk, Walter McCarty and Mark Pope
Final Ranking: 2nd by AP and 2nd by CNN/USA Today
Notes: NCAA Champions; SEC Champions; ECAC Holiday Festival Champions; Participated as #1 Seed in the Midwest Region of the NCAA Tournament





UK 1995-96 NCAA Champions
Front Row: Asstistant Coach Delray Brooks, Head Coach Rick Pitino, Allen Edwards, Dereck Anderson, Jeff Sheppard, Tony Delk, Anthony Epps, Cameron Mills, Wayne Turner, Associate Coach Jim O'Brien, Assistant Coach Winston Bennett Standing: Equipment Manager Bill Keightley, Adminstrative Assititant George Barber, Jason Lathrem, Oliver Simmons, Nazr Mohammed, Mark Pope, Walter McCarty, Antoine Walker, Jared Prickett, Ron Mercer, Trainer Eddie Jamiel, Asstistant Strenght Coach Layne Kaufman, Strenght Coach Shaun Brown

UK 1995-96 Roster, UK 1995-96 Schedule & Results






UK 1997-98 NCAA Championship Team
Kentucky 78 - Utah 69
March 30, 1998 - San Antonio
"The Comeback Cats"
UK's 1997-98 Record 35-4

Kentucky battled back from a 31-41 halftime deficit to Utah - the largest halftime margin every overcome in an NCAA title game - to claim the school's seventh national championship before 40,509 fans in the Alamodome.

Utah was propelled to the early lead thanks to a 24-6 rebounding advantage in the first half. But Heshimu Evans sparked the "Comeback Cats" off the bench with seven straight points early in the second half. Later, Final Four Most Outstanding Player Jeff Sheppard canned a baseline jumper with 4:54 remaining to give UK a 65-64 lead.

The exhausted Utes then missed 11 consecutive field goals as the Wildcats claimed the second NCAA Championship in three years. Scott Padgett joined Sheppard on the All-Final Four Team after scoring 17 points. UK out rebounded the Utes 18-15 in the second half.

BOX SCORE

Kentucky
PLAYER MIN FG 3FG FT REB F A TO B S TP
Edwards 24 2-7 0-3 0-0 1 0 5 0 0 1 4
Padgett 33 6-11 1-5 4-4 5 4 1 0 0 0 17
Mohammed 13 5-9 0-0 0-0 2 4 0 1 2 0 10
Turner 27 2-5 0-1 2-4 4 0 4 5 0 3 6
Sheppard 34 7-14 0-2 2-2 4 1 3 2 0 2 16
Magloire 22 2-3 0-0 3-3 2 4 1 0 3 0 7
Evans 23 3-4 2-2 2-2 6 1 0 3 1 1 10
Mills 12 2-4 2-4 2-2 0 0 1 0 0 0 8
Smith 7 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Bradley 5 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM 1
TOTALS 200 29-57 5-17 15-17 24 15 15 11 6 7 78

Utah
PLAYER MIN FG 3FG FT REB F A TO B S TP
Mottla 28 4-10 1-3 6-6 8 4 0 3 0 0 15
Jensen 35 5-6 1-1 3-3 2 2 2 1 0 0 14
Doleac 34 5-12 1-1 4-6 10 2 1 1 2 3 15
Miller 37 6-15 0-3 4-7 6 5 5 8 0 2 16
Hanson 32 1-6 0-2 0-0 5 2 1 2 0 3 2
Johnsen 16 3-4 1-2 0-0 4 0 0 3 0 0 7
McTravish 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0
Jackson 10 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0
Caton 5 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM 4
TOTALS 200 24-55 4-14 17-22 39 18 12 18 2 8 69

Halftime: Utah 41 - UK 31
Final: Kentucky 78 - Utah 69

Final Record: Won: 35; Lost: 4
Head Coach: Orlando Smith
Assistant Coaches: George Felton, Shawn Finney, Mike Sutton
Team Captain(s): Jeff Sheppard, Allen Edwards and Cameron Mills
Final Ranking: 5th by AP and 1st by USA Today/ESPN
Notes: NCAA Champions; SEC Champions; SEC Tournament Champions; Orlando Smith's First Season
Participated as #2 Seed in the South Region of the NCAA Tournament





UK 1997-98 NCAA Champions
Front Row:(L-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, Nar Mohammed, Jamaal Magloire, Micheal Bradley, Myron Anthony, Allen Edwards, Trainer Eddie Jamiel, Strenght Coach Tom Boyd

UK 1997-98 Roster, UK 1997-98 Schedule & Results








UK 2011-12 NCAA Championship Team
Kentucky 67 - Kansas 59
April 2, 2012 - New Orleans, LA
UK's 2011-12 Record: 38-2

Cats Top Kansas 67-59, Win Eighth National Title
Lamb scores 22; celebration at Rupp tomorrow

Box Score|Notes|Photo Gallery|AP Photo Gallery|Tuesday Afternoon Celebration at Rupp|Championship Gear

Players-first approach adds memorable chapter to UK lore

Tale of a celebration 14 years in the making|National title notebook: UK's quiet star anything but in championship game|Kentucky's championship moments|Video: Coach Cal, players celebrate with fans on Bourbon Street|Video: Fans greet UK at team hotel

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Won and Done, indeed. Maybe even Over and Out.

All that really matters is that Kentucky parlayed a roster full of NBA talent into a 67-59 victory Monday night over Kansas for the team's eighth national NCAA basketball title - its first since 1998.

Kentucky's top freshman, Anthony Davis, had a rough shooting night, but John Calipari coached this team to a wire-to-wire victory - a little dicey at the end - to cap a season that cried for no less than a championship for their ol' Kentucky home.

"I wanted everybody to see, we were the best team this season," said the coach who finally has the championship that eluded him for all these years. "We were the best team. I wanted this to be one for the ages."

Doron Lamb, a sophomore with first-round-draft-pick possibilities, led the Wildcats (38-2) with 22 points, including back-to-back 3-pointers that put them up by 16 with 10 minutes left.

The Jayhawks (32-7), kings of the comeback all season, fought to the finish and trimmed that deficit to five with 1:37 left. But Kentucky made five free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

Davis' fellow lottery prospect, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, was another headliner, creating space for himself to score all 11 of his points in the first half.

Davis, meanwhile, might have had the most dominating six-point night in the history of college basketball, earning the nod as the most outstanding player. He finished with 16 rebounds, six blocks, five assists and three steals - and made his only field goal with 5:13 left in the game. It was a surefire illustration of how the 6-foot-10 freshman can exert his will on a game even on a rare night when the shot isn't falling.

"Well, it's not me, it's these guys behind me," Davis said after his 1-for-10 performance. "They led us this whole tournament. This whole game I was struggling offensively, and I told my team, every time down, you all score the ball; I'm just gonna defend and rebound."

So much easier when you've got teammates like this. Davis is the likely first pick in the draft, though he said he hasn't decided yet whether he will come out, and Kidd-Gilchrist won't be far behind. Another first-round prospect, freshman Marquis Teague, had 14 points. And yet another, sophomore Terrence Jones, had nine points, seven rebounds and two of Kentucky's 11 blocked shots.

"I love the fact Anthony Davis goes 1 for 10, and you all say he was biggest factor of game," Calipari said. "He was 1 for 10. I asked these guys what they would do without scoring. You have an idea what he does."

Kansas also has a lottery pick in AP All-American Thomas Robinson. He was harassed all night by Davis and Jones and finished with 18 points and 17 rebounds on a 6-for-17 shooting night. He left upset, though not overly impressed with Davis, who he'll certainly see in "the association" over the next several years.

"He's not Superman," Robinson said. "He's just a great player. I don't mean to be disrespectful by it, but as a competitor I'm not going to sit here and give all my praise to someone I go up against."

The Jayhawks won the "B" League this year, as Calipari avenged a final-game loss to Bill Self back in 2008 when Cal was coaching Memphis. The Tigers missed four late free throws in blowing a nine-point lead in that one. Kansas didn't get any such help this time.

Even so, it wasn't a bad season in Lawrence, considering where KU began.

Kansas lost four of its top five scorers off last year's roster. There were times early in the season when Self and his old buddy and mentor, Larry Brown, would stand around at practices and wonder if this was a team that could even make the tournament. It did. Won its eighth straight conference title, too.

"Nobody even expected us to be here in the first place, for us to have a great season," KU guard Travis Releford said. "And we did. We were able to compete for a championship. We had a great year."

None of this, however, was for the faint of heart. The Jayhawks trailed by double digits in three of their five tournament games leading to the final and played every game down to the wire. They fell behind by 18 late in the first half of this one and this time, there was no big comeback to be made; not against these guys.

"We knew coming in that we had been in situations like that before," Releford said. "We played like that all year. We figured we'd come out in the second half and run how we did. It just wasn't good enough."

Davis realized early this was no shoot-first night for him at the Superdome, and Calipari all but told him to cool it at halftime.

"I said, `Listen to me, don't you go out there and try to score,"' the coach said.

The freshman listened. Sporting his near-unibrow, which the UK Wildcat mascot also decided to paste on, he endured the worst shooting night of a short college career in which he makes 64 percent. No big deal. He set the tone early on defense, swatting Robinson's shot twice, grabbing rebounds, making pretty bounce passes for assists.

Early in the second half, he made a steal that also could have been an assist, knocking the ball out of Robinson's hands and directly to Jones, who dunked for a 46-30 lead.

Then, finally. With 5:13 left in the game, he spotted up for a 15-foot jumper from the baseline that swished for a 59-44 lead, putting a dagger in one of Kansas' many comebacks.

"He was terrific," Self said. "The basket he made was one of the biggest baskets of the game."

The crowd, a little more full of Kentucky fans than Kansas, went crazy. If this guy only stays one year and only makes one shot, they're fine with that.

It's the new normal at Kentucky, where Adolph Rupp set a standard, Rick Pitino lived up to it for a while, then Calipari - hardly the buttoned-down type - was hired to bring back the glory.

He goes for the best player, no matter what their long-term goals.

Normally, the prospect of losing all those players in one swoop would have people thinking about a tough rebuilding year.

But Cal has mastered the art of rebuilding on the fly.

He's the coach who brings in the John Walls, Brandon Knights and Derrick Roses (at Memphis) for cups of coffee, lets them sharpen up their resumes, then happily says goodbye when it becomes obvious there's nothing left for them to do in school.

Last year, the formula resulted in a trip to the Final Four that ended with a crushing loss to Connecticut in the semifinals.

This year, Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist and the rest came to Lexington with big-time bona-fides, and they didn't disappoint. Kentucky lost only twice all season - once on a buzzer-beater at Indiana, the second time last month in the SEC tournament title game to Vanderbilt, in the arena across the way from the Superdome.

That trip to New Orleans might have been, as Calipari put it, just what the doctor ordered for a team that could sometimes border on arrogance.

They rebounded nicely for the real tournament, and through it all, the coach refused to apologize for the way he recruits or how he runs his program. Just playing by the rules as they're set up, he says, even if he doesn't totally agree with them. Because he refuses to promise minutes or shots to any recruit and demands teamwork out of all of them, he says he comes by these players honestly.

He has produced nine first-round picks in the last four drafts with a few more coming. This latest group will have an NCAA title in tow and the everlasting love of a fan base that bleeds basketball.

When it was over, all that Kentucky talent ran to the corner of the court, got in a group huddle and jumped up and down like the kids they really are. Will Calipari coach any of them again?

"What I'm hoping is there are six first-rounders on this team," the coach said. "I'm fine with that. That's why I've got to go recruiting on Friday." 

Box Score

Kentucky - 67
Player Min FG FGA 3pt FG 3pt FGA FT FTA Off Reb Def Reb Tot Reb PF Ast St BS TO Pts
Terrence Jones 29 4 7 0 1 1 2 1 6 7 4 0 1 2 2 9
Anthony Davis 36 1 10 0 0 4 6 4 12 16 2 5 3 6 3 6
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 35 4 7 0 1 3 4 2 4 6 2 1 0 1 1 11
Doron Lamb 35 7 12 3 6 5 6 1 1 2 2 3 0 0 1 22
Marquis Teague 34 5 14 2 3 2 3 1 1 2 2 3 0 0 2 14
Darius Miller 25 2 5 1 2 0 0 1 5 6 2 0 0 2 2 5
Eloy Vargas 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
Kyle Wiltjer 3 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Team 2 2 4
Totals 200 23 56 6 14 15 21 12 31 43 15 12 4 11 11 67

Kansas - 59
Player Min FG FGA 3pt FG 3pt FGA FT FTA Off Reb Def Reb Tot Reb PF Ast St BS TO Pts
Thomas Robinson 36 6 17 0 0 6 7 5 12 17 2 1 0 0 1 18
Jeff Withey 32 2 8 0 0 1 1 3 4 7 2 1 2 4 1 5
Tyshawn Taylor 36 8 17 1 1 2 3 1 3 4 1 3 1 0 5 19
Elijah Johnson 36 5 13 3 7 0 0 1 1 2 1 2 1 0 2 13
Travis Releford 30 1 6 1 2 1 2 0 1 1 5 1 1 0 0 4
Conner Teahan 17 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0
Justin Wesley 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Kevin Young 11 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 3 3 4 0 0 1 0 0
Team 1 0 1
Totals 200 22 62 5 11 10 15 11 24 35 16 9 6 5 9 59

Halftime Score:Kentucky 41, Kansas 27
Final:UK 68 - Kansas 59

Final Record:Won: 38; Lost: 2
Head Coach:John Calipari
Assistant Coaches:Orlando Antigua, Kenny Payne, John Robic
Final Ranking:1st by AP
Notes:NCAA Champions; SEC Champions; Champions Classic Champions
Participated as #1 Seed in the South Region of the NCAA Tournament






UK 2011-12 NCAA Champions
Seated (l to r):Doron Lamb, Marquis Teague, Jarrod Polson, Brian Long, Ryan Harrow, Sam Malone, Stacey Poole(Transferred during Mid-seasonStanding:Twany Beckham, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kyle Wiltjer, Eloy Vargas, Anthony Davis, Terrence Jones, Darius Miller, Jon Hood



UK 2011-12 RosterUK 2011-12 Schedule & Results


For more information on UK's 8 NCAA Championship Teams(Click Here)

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