Category Archives: College Basketball

February 16, 1994

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.

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St. Smith Passes Away At 83

ICYMI, according to ESPN, the greatest most important man that ever walked the earth passed away.  Royalty.  Dean Smith died at 83 and won a lot of basketball games (879) until he retired at the end of the 1996-97 season.  I was surprised to learn he only had 18 All-Americans.  It seems like there were more.  Smith was 13-3 all-time versus the University of Kentucky, 11 Final Fours, and zero accountability for the “paper classes”.

But hey, we all know it’s possible to be a head coach and not really know what your players are doing.  Besides, it is more fun to blame Mack Brown and Butch Davis any way.  But I digress.

Smith was hired during UNC’s darkest hour.  In 1960, the program had just been sanctioned for recruiting violations and was swamped in point shaving rumors.  The plan at the time was to de-emphasize basketball but Smith pulled the Tar Heels from the ashes and appeared to run a relatively clean program throughout his career.

Nowadays, instead of de-emphasizing anything, athletic departments just ignore scandals and pretend they didn’t happen.  Every institution has its team of zombie apologists.  The NCAA is powerless and douchebags like Jay Bilas will play both ends against the middle.

RIP Dean.