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This Day in History: 1997-03-31

On March 31, 1997, despite losing its star, Derek Anderson, to a knee injury on Jan. 18, UK returns to defend its NCAA title in the National Championship game, trying to become the second team in 24 years to repeat as national champion, falling in overtime to Arizona, 84-79. Ron Mercer and Anthony Epps nailed three-pointers inside the last minute to force overtime. But with four Wildcats fouling out, Arizona outscored UK by five in the extra period in Rick Pitino’s final game as coach at Kentucky.