I watched this game from a dorm room at Morehead State almost 21 years ago to the day. I had two roommates at the time, both were from Pikevooolle. The following semester I would return to more civilized living arrangements with two northern Kentuckians. Hard to believe that I was 5 years old and in college.
Kentucky 99, LSU 95
Kentucky pulled off the greatest comeback in college basketball history tonight, rallying from 31 points down with 15 minutes 30 seconds to play to defeat Louisiana State, 99-95, at Baton Rouge, La.
“I can’t believe it,” Kentucky Coach Rick Pitino said. “I know I’ve never, ever witnessed anything like it.”
Duke held the record for the largest comeback when it rallied from a 56-27 halftime deficit to beat Tulane by 74-72 on Dec. 30, 1950.
L.S.U. led by 48-32 at halftime and used an 18-0 run to take a 31-point lead before the second half was five minutes old, but Kentucky scored 24 of the next 28 points. The Wildcats cut the lead to 82-74 on McCarty’s steal underneath and dunk with 6:25 left.
Pitino may have had some doubts, but Travis Ford didn’t. The point guard had 10 points, 12 assists and one big motivational speech.
“I pulled everyone together and I said, ‘We’re down 31 and we’re not leaving this building without a win. We’re going to win this game no matter what. I’ll stay here all night,’ ” Ford said. “And everyone said, ‘You’re right,’ and everyone stepped up their play.”
Walter McCarty’s 3-pointer with 19 seconds left gave the 11th-ranked Wildcats a 96-95 lead, their first since 1-0. McCarty had 23 points for Kentucky (19-5, 8-3 in the Southeastern Conference), which had lost two straight. Freshman Ronnie Henderson scored 36 points and Clarence Ceasar added 32 for the Tigers (11-10, 5-7). Syracuse 79, Providence 74
Adrian Autry scored after rebounding his own missed free throw with 55 seconds to play to cap a 14-point comeback and give No. 14 Syracuse (17-4, 9-4 in the Big East) a victory over Providence. Providence (12-8, 5-7) led 52-38 with 16:41 to play after scoring 16 straight points, but wilted under Syracuse’s aggressive defense.