Rich in tradition, success and following, the University of Kentucky Wildcats basketball team is the most successful college basketball team of all times, with an overall record of 2293-706. Many Wildcat players have managed to earn All-American honors and gone on to have successful professional careers in the game. You have the Big Blue Nation, Kentucky’s notoriously loyal fan base that can easily hold their own against any other team.
In honor of the team’s constant pursuit of perfection, here is a look at 3 iconic moments in Wildcat Basketball history:
- The First Win
State College (Kentucky) recorded its first win on February 18, 1903. It was a grueling 11-10 decision over Lexington YMCA. However, their first intercollegiate game that was recorded was against Georgetown College, which they lost with 15-6. Their first official season ended with a record of 1-2.
- The First Fabulous Five
Even though the Michigan Wolverines’ Fab Five get all the attention now, it was actually Kentucky Wildcat players that first earned that nickname, all the way back in the late 1940s. Kentucky’s Fabulous Five consisted of Ralph Beard, Alex Groza, Wallace Jones, Cliff Baker, and Kenny Rollins. In 1948, they helped the school win its first NCAA Championship, beating Baylor 58-42. They also earned the right to represent the United States in the 1948 London Olympics and went on to win a gold medal.
- The 2012 NBA Draft
In 2011-12, the Wildcats had a record of 38-2 and also won their 8th national title. The entire team, which consisted of freshmen Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague, and sophomores Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb, decided to give up their college eligibility and enter the 2012 NBA Draft. All five players were selected. This was something unheard of - all five players declaring for draft together and also getting selected.
These 3 iconic moments were crucial for placing the Wildcats as one of the most popular and successful college basketball teams in history. If you wish to be a part of the Big Blue Nation, show your support for the team by buying their merchandise, including Kentucky Wildcats scarves online.