College Basketball: Top 10 Performances in Kentucky vs. Indiana History
Kentucky and Indiana are two of the most-storied and successful programs in college basketball history.
Kentucky is the winningest program both in all-time wins and all-time winning percentage. The Wildcats have won seven NCAA Championships.
Indiana is tied with North Carolina for the third most NCAA Championships with five. The Hoosiers 1976 squad remains the last undefeated NCAA Champion.
Kentucky and Indiana have faced each other 54 times, with the Wildcats holding the current series' edge (31-23).
Over the years, countless elite-level players have squared off against each other.
During these great rivalry games, outstanding players have transformed this series into their own history-making events.
Maybe that will happen when these two legendary programs go head-to-head this Saturday.
Here are the Top 10 performances in Kentucky versus Indiana history.
For a ton of info and stats about this great rivalry, check out www.bigbluehistory.net
Ron Mercer (1996)
Ron Mercer was a multi-talented player who could line up at just about any position on the court.
He was an All-SEC and an All-American selection, as well as won an NCAA Championship as a freshmen.
In a 99-65 UK rout in December of 1996, Mercer went off for 26 points on 11-of-18 shooting. He also grabbed six rebounds and handed out four assists.
Steve Alford (1984)
Steve Alford was one of the top back-court players in Indiana history.
He was not only First Team All-Big Ten for three consecutive seasons, but also Alford was a two-time All-American selection who helped the Hoosiers win the 1987 NCAA Championship.
In December of 1984, Alford, as a sophomore, hit 11-of-14 shots from the field and both of his free throw attempts to drop in 24 points in an 81-64 IU victory. He also dished out seven assists.
Louie Dampier (1965)
Louie Dampier was one of Kentucky's best shooters of all-time.
Dampier was a two-time All-American and three-time All-SEC selection.
In the rivalry game of December 1965, Dampier hit 12-of-23 shots from the floor on his way to scoring 28 points in one of the most lop-sided Wildcat victories (Kentucky won, 91-56) in this series.
Kent Benson (1975)
Kent Benson was one of the all-time greats at Indiana.
He was a two-time All American, a National Player of the Year, NCAA Champion and a Final Four Most Outstanding Player.
In 1975, Kentucky and Indiana squared off in the Mideast Regional Finals of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.
Benson had a fantastic game, scoring 33 points (on 13-of-18 shooting) and grabbing 23 rebounds.
However, Kentucky pulled out a 92-90 victory.
Travis Ford (1993)
Long before Travis Ford was storming the sidelines as the head coach of the Oklahoma State Cowboys, he was a dead-eye shooter for the Kentucky Wildcats.
Ford made 190 three-point field goals in just 100 games.
One of his best games was against Indiana in January of 1993 when Ford knocked down seven shots from beyond the arc (most in a game by a single player of either team) on his way to scoring 29 points.
Ford was also 3-for-3 from inside the arc in this 81-78 UK victory.
Damon Bailey (1993)
Damon Bailey was a four-year starter for the Hoosiers.
He was chosen as a third-team All-American and a first-team All-Big Ten selection, and he led IU to the 1992 Final Four.
In the UK vs IU game in December of 1993 where the Hoosiers won 96-84, Bailey hit 16-of-19 free throws (record for a single game) on his way to scoring 29 points.
Derek Anderson (1996)
Derek Anderson was one of the best players on what legitimately could be called the most talented team in college basketball history.
Kentucky's 1996 NCAA Championship team had nine players who went on to play in the NBA.
Anderson led all scorers in a 99-65 Kentucky blowout (in December of 1996), scoring 30 points while hitting 4-of-9 shots from downtown.
Anderson also grabbed four rebounds, handed out four assists and pinched three steals.
George McGinnis (1970)
George McGinnis only played one year of varsity basketball at Indiana...and what a season it was.
McGinnis, a 6' 8" forward, became the first sophomore to lead the Big Ten in scoring and rebounding. He averaged 29.9 points per game, earning All-American and All-Big Ten Honors in 1971.
He had one of the best single performances in this rivalry in December of 1970.
In a game that Kentucky would end up winning in overtime (95-93), McGinnis poured in 38 points and grabbed 20 rebounds.
Dan Issel (1969)
Dan Issel was one of the best players in Kentucky Wildcats' history.
He was selected as a First Team All-American two out of three years, and still is the school's all-time leading scorer with 2,138 points (an average of 25.7 per game).
In the UK vs IU game in December of 1969, Issel went off for 32 points and snatched 20 rebounds in a 109-92 win for Kentucky.
Steve Downing (1971)
Steve Downing was an excellent but undersized (6' 8") center for IU in the early 1970's.
He won the Chicago Tribune Silver Basketball award in 1973 as the best player in the Big Ten.
Downing had both the greatest scoring and rebounding outing in the Kentucky versus Indiana series history.
In December of 1971, Downing put in a mind-blowing 47 points (on 19-of-39 shooting) and grabbed 25 rebounds in a 90-89 double-overtime victory for the Hoosiers.