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Throwback Thursday: The greatest comeback in college basketball history


AP Photo

On February 15, 1994 the Kentucky Wildcats paid a visit to Baton Rouge, where the LSU Tigers and a frenzied “Deaf Dome” crowd awaited. And Dale Brown’s team was ready from the start, establishing a 16-point halftime lead, and things got even better for the home team during the early stages of the second half.

Instead of resting on that seemingly comfortable margin LSU ripped off an 18-0 run early in the second half, pushing their lead out to a staggering 31 points less than five minutes into the stanza. With LSU’s Ronnie Henderson (36 points) and Clarence Ceasar (32 points) rolling offensively, the game appeared finished. Key word: appeared.

The words of current Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford provided the struggling Wildcats with the boost they needed to turn things around.

“I pulled everyone together and I said, ‘We’re down 31 and we’re not leaving this building without a win. We’re going to win this game no matter what. I’ll stay here all night,’ ” Ford said. “And everyone said, ‘You’re right,’ and everyone stepped up their play.”

Kentucky would complete the comeback, winning by the final score of 99-95 in what remains to this day the greatest comeback in NCAA history. Walter McCarty scored a team-high 23 points, and his three-pointer in the final minute gave the Wildcats a lead they would not relinquish. Below are the highlights of Kentucky’s amazing comeback.

An interesting note about this series: the Wildcats had no such issues in their meeting in Baton Rouge two years later, as they scored 86 first-half points in a 129-97 win. That team would go on to win the national title. (Those highlights can be found here.)

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