This series counts down the greatest UK basketball teams of all time. No. 1 will be revealed in the Kernel’s basketball season preview edition on Nov. 7. Here is No. 4: 1948-49.
Even when the Fabulous Five was reduced to the Fantastic Four, the results at season’s end were the same. Holdovers Alex Groza, Ralph Beard, Wallace “Wah Wah” Jones and Cliff Barker returned to add a second national title.
After capturing the 1947-48 national championship, the Cats would become the second team to successfully defend a NCAA title. Since then, only six other schools have accomplished this feat.
Adolph Rupp’s 19th season at UK started where his 18th left off, with the team tallying eight straight victories. UK’s first of only two losses on the year would come in a 42-40 defeat at the hands of St. Louis in the Sugar Bowl Championship tournament in New Orleans.
Walter Cornett, of Glendale, Kentucky, is the owner and operator of Walter’s Wildcat World. He founded WildcatWorld.com in 1998 making it one of the oldest Kentucky basketball fan sites in operation today.