Video interviews below
Kentucky returns home Saturday for its second-to-last home game of the season in a rematch with Vanderbilt. UK, now 27-1 on the season, 13-0 in the Southeastern Conference, defeated the Commodores 69-63 two weeks ago in Nashville, Tenn.
Now the Cats are three games away becoming the third team in the SEC since 1956 to go undefeated in conference play (the 1996 and 2003 UK teams went 16-0) and two home wins away from going three straight years without a loss at Rupp Arena under head coach John Calipari. (I should also mention that a victory Saturday will earn UK the outright SEC championship; the Cats claimed at least a share of their 45th regular-season title Tuesday at Mississippi State.)
As it stands now, Kentucky has a 49-game winning streak at Rupp Arena and 50-game home winning streak overall (the first victory in the winning streak came under former coach Billy Gillispie in the 2009 National Invitational Tournament game in Memorial Coliseum).
Believe it or not, the home winning streak is not a UK record. In fact, it’s not even close.
From 1943 to 1955, the Wildcats won 129 straight games at Alumni Gym and Memorial Coliseum. All the games were under UK legend Adolph Rupp.
“It was 12 years,” Calipari said Friday when he was asked about his current streak. “So you were 12 years old in sixth grade and when they lost you had two kids. Think about that.”
The streak finally ended on Jan. 8, 1955 when Joe Helms from Georgia Tech hit a 12-foot shot with 12 seconds left to hand UK a 59-58 loss.
“The building was like, ‘What do we do? Do we leave? Do we mourn? We’ve never left after a loss,’ ” Coach Cal said.
Calipari’s point being, he’s not worried about the current UK home winning streak.
“We’re not matching any record,” Calipari said, laughing at the ridiculousness of Rupp’s home winning streak.
On to the videos. More in written form a little later.