With Kentucky getting set to host LSU Tuesday night, it always reminds me of just how entertaining the UK-LSU series was from 1972-1997 when Dale Brown was coaching the Tigers — and the teams played home and home.
I was in Memorial Coliseum when Brown tossed his sports coat to midcourt when he was upset with the officiating. I was in Rupp Arena in 1978 for his infamous confrontation with sports writer Billy Reed after a UK win. I was in Atlanta in 1986 when LSU beat UK in the regional final to reach the Final Four after losing to UK three times earlier in the season. I was there when UK beat LSU by 47 points in Rupp Arena in 1995 and also there when he beat UK by 35 points.
Here’s a list Brown sent me with some of the highlights/lowlights from his days against Kentucky
1. Prior to 1972 Kentucky had won more SEC championships than the rest of the league combined. LSU’s record against Kentucky from 1936-1972 was 2 wins and 32 losses.
2. Coach Brown’s first win over Kentucky was in 1973-74, 95-84.
3. 1977-78 –LSU defeated Kentucky 95-94 in overtime. All five of LSU starters fouled out of game. Kentucky was number one in nation and went on to win the National Championship.
4. 1978-79 – LSU won first SEC Conference Championship in 25 years. Beat Kentucky twice during regular season and lost to them in SEC tournament.
5. 1979-80 – LSU lost conference title in last game of regular season in overtime on a last second shot by Kyle Macy 74-76. One week later beat them in SEC Tournament Championship game – 80-78. The first and only SEC Tournament Championship in LSU history.
6. 1980-81 – LSU won SEC Conference Championship and were 17-0 and lost last game of conference season at Kentucky by 2 points as Sam Bowie blocked a shot at the buzzer. LSU went on to Final Four with a 31-3 record.
7. 1985-86 –LSU lost three times to Kentucky but beat them in NCAA Regional Championship and went to second Final Four in 5 years.
8. 1986-87 – LSU gave Kentucky worst home defeat in history by 35 points, 76-41.
9. 1990-91 –LSU won fourth SEC Conference Championship. Beat Kentucky by 19 at home and lost by 13 at Kentucky.
10. 1993-94 – LSU had a 31 point lead in second half and lost 95-99.
11. 1994-95 –LSU suffered worst defeat in Brown’s 25 years at LSU, 47 points 80-127 at Kentucky.
12. Coach Brown retired in 1997 and won 18 games against Kentucky, which is the most of any coach in the nation. LSU has only 25 total wins over Kentucky since 1936.