1965–66 Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team

The 1965–66 Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team represented the University of Kentucky in NCAA competition in the 1965–66 season. Coached by Adolph Rupp, the team had no player taller than 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)—unusually small even for that era—and became known as "Rupp's Runts". The Wildcats, then as now, were a member of the Southeastern Conference, and played their home games at Memorial Coliseum, which would remain their home until Rupp Arena opened in 1976.

1965–66 Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball
SEC champions
ConferenceSoutheastern Conference
CoachesNo. 1
APNo. 1
1965–66 record27–2 (15–1 SEC)
Head coachAdolph Rupp
Assistant coachHarry Lancaster
Home arenaMemorial Coliseum

Led on the floor by future Hall of Fame coach Pat Riley and Louie Dampier, the Cats reached the top ranking in all major polls entering that season's NCAA tournament; their only regular-season loss was at Tennessee. They ultimately lost in the final of the NCAA Tournament, 72-65, to a Texas Western (now UTEP) team that would later be inducted in its entirety to the Hall of Fame. The game is mostly remembered today for its sociological subtext—the Miners were the first major-college team to start five black players in a NCAA Final (having done so for virtually all of the 1965–66 season[citation needed] ), while the Wildcats were all-white at the time (and would remain so until 1969).

NCAA basketball tournamentEdit

  • Mideast
    • Kentucky 86, Dayton 70
    • Kentucky 84, Michigan 77
  • Final Four
    • Kentucky 83, Duke 79
    • Texas Western 72, Kentucky 65


Awards and honorsEdit