1997-98 National Champions

NCAA Championship #7
KENTUCKY 78, UTAH 69
March 30,1998
San Antonio, TX

Facing a double-digit second half deficit for the third game in a row, Kentucky scratched back to defeat Utah 78-69 and win the NCAA title. It was the second national title in the last three years for UK and the seventh overall. Jeff Sheppard was named Most Outstanding Player, tallying 43 points in two games in San Antonio. Sheppard had 16 points and had two key baskets in Kentucky’s second-half comeback. Heshimu Evans, a junior forward, made two 3-pointers and a driving layup when Kentucky was down early in the second half, then blocked Andre Miller’s 3-point shot with 44.2 seconds left and Kentucky ahead 70-66, a shot that really was Utah’s last chance. Title-game experience may have made a difference too. Kentucky had been in the championship game the past three years, but Utah (30-4) was playing its first since 1944. Utah, which had held opponents to 38 percent shooting in the tournament, saw Kentucky shoot 51 percent. Kentucky’s 78 points were the most scored on Utah this season. Scott Padgett led Kentucky with 17 points, and Sheppard, who was redshirted last season, had 16. Miller led Utah with 16, and Hanno Mottola and Michael Doleac each had 15.

KENTUCKY

PLAYER      FG    FT   R  A  PF  TP
Edwards    2-7   0-0   1  5   0   4
Padgett   6-11   4-4   5  1   4  17
Mohammed   5-9   0-0   2  0   4  10
Turner     2-5   2-4   2  4   0   6
Sheppard  7-14   2-2   4  3   1  16
Magloire   2-3   3-3   2  1   4   7
Evans      3-4   2-2   6  0   1  10
Mills      2-4   2-2   0  1   0   8
Smith      0-0   0-0   0  0   0   0
Bradley    0-0   0-0   1  0   1   0

TOTALS   29-57 15-17  23 15  15  78

UTAH

PLAYER     FG    FT    R  A  PF  TP
Mottola  4-10   6-6    8  0   4  15
Jensen    5-6   3-3    2  2   2  14
Doleac   5-12   4-6   10  1   2  15
Miller   6-15   4-7    6  5   5  16
Hansen    1-6   0-0    5  1   2   2
Johnsen   3-4   0-0    4  0   0   7
Mctavish  0-0   0-0    0  2   1   0
Jackson   0-1   0-0    0  1   2   0
Caton     0-1   0-0    0  0   0   0

TOTALS  24-55 17-22   35 12  18  69

HALFTIME:
Utah 41, UK 31

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5C1XXK4kwk