Early into the season, it was obvious that the “Fiddlin’ Five” were not like Rupp’s teams earlier in the decade. They played around and made mistakes, which Rupp described as fiddling. In fact, the Fiddlin’ Five still has the most losses out of any Kentucky’s championships, with six, three of those were in four games. Unlike the Fab Five or the 1951 teams, the Fiddling Five would yoyo in the rankings with their lowest a No. 13 coming after 56–57 loss to unranked Loyola Chicago. Kentucky would catch fire through the tournament though and would win their fourth title over No. 18 Seattle in the confines of Louisville’s Freedom Hall.
In the 2011–12 season, Calipari led Kentucky to be 16–0 in SEC regular-season play, clinching its 45th SEC regular-season championship. The last team to do so in the SEC was the 2002–03 Kentucky Wildcats, and before that, the 1995–96 Kentucky Wildcats. Kentucky’s regular-season record was 30–1, with its only loss being by one point coming from a 3-pointer buzzer-beater by the Indiana Hoosiers’ Christian Watford at Assembly Hall on December 10, 2011. In the SEC Tournament, Kentucky fell to Vanderbilt in the championship game, making its overall record 32–2 going into the NCAA Tournament. Kentucky was both selected as the No. 1 seed in the South Region and also the No. 1 seed overall of the entire NCAA Tournament. The Sweet 16 match-up on March 23, 2012, was a rematch against Indiana, in which this time the Wildcats prevailed over the Hoosiers 102–90. On March 25, 2012, Kentucky won the South Regional, setting up a Final Four semifinal with the Louisville Cardinals. Calipari’s Wildcats defeated the Cardinals (coached by former Kentucky coach Rick Pitino) by a score of 69–61. This sent Kentucky to the National Championship game against the Kansas Jayhawks, where they defeated Kansas 67–59, winning UK’s 8th NCAA championship, along with John Calipari’s first NCAA Championship as a head coach. This Kentucky team had a record six players drafted in the 2012 NBA draft, including the first time two teammates have been chosen with the first two picks: Anthony Davis (1st overall), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (2nd), Terrence Jones (18th), Marquis Teague (29th), Doron Lamb (42nd) and Darius Miller (46th).
Collectively, the fans of the Kentucky Wildcats are often referred to as the Big Blue Nation.
The university adopted blue and white as its official colors in 1892. Originally, however, UK students had decided on blue and light yellow prior to the Kentucky-Centre College football game on December 19, 1887. The shade of blue, which is close to a royal blue, was chosen when a student asked the question, “What color blue?” At the time, Richard C. Stoll (who lettered in football at UK in 1889–94) pulled off his necktie and held it up. The students then adopted that particular shade of blue. A year later, UK students officially dropped the light yellow color for white because the two colors did not look good together.
College Sports Established
University of Kentucky
1973 – Present / NCAA Division 1
1921 – 1973 / University Division of the NCAA
1907 – 1921 / Athletic Association of the United States
1932 – Present / SEC Conference
1921 – 2032 / Southern Conference
1896 – 1904, 1911 – 1916, 1919 – 1921 / Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association
Wildcats – The nickname became synonymous with UK shortly after a 6-2 football victory over Illinois on Oct. 9, 1909, on the road. Commandant Carbusier, then head of the military department at old State University, told a group of students in a chapel service following the game that the Kentucky football team had “fought like Wildcats.” Later the name Wildcats became more and more popular among UK followers as well as with members of the media. As a result, the nickname was adopted by the University.
Men’s Basketball 8
2012, 1998, 1996, 1978, 1958, 1951, 1949, 1948
Women’s Basketball 0