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Saturday we Honor the “Fiddling Five”


There are many great things about Kentucky basketball, ranging from its passionate fans to its amazing facilities. But the one thing that makes Kentucky basketball truly unique is its unparalleled history. No program in America can claim the hold on college basketball for a longer and more consistent time frame than the Kentucky Wildcats. UK has been great in every decade and has been a national power since the beginning of the modern college basketball era. Only a handful of college programs in history have won a national title with more than one coach…..the Cats have won with four. Simply put, no program can touch the history of Kentucky basketball and if you dont feel that history in Rupp Arena when the two minute video that showcases Kentucky’s past is played…..well you must barely have a Big Blue soul.

Part of the glory of that history is honoring and remembering it, something Kentucky has done a great deal in recent years. That is why Saturday will be a special day in Rupp as the 1958 Championship team will be in attendance for the exhibition game against Seattle. The UK administration made a great decision in bringing Seattle (now Division II, but moving up) to Rupp for the occasion and the 1958 team will be there to be honored both before and after the game. The “Fiddling Five”, named by Rupp because he thought their style of play was more like a fiddler than a violinist, even though they would be playing a “Carnegie Hall” schedule, are icons of Kentucky basketball history and have a special place in the heart of older Kentucky fans. Vernon Hatton, Johnny Cox and the rest of the team played an entertaining style of basketball and defeated Elgin Baylor (one of the true underrated greats in the history of the sport) and Seattle in the finals. The great Jon Scott, whose site is THE place for Kentucky basketball history, has the boxscore and news report of that game and it is a must read for all Kentucky fans.

I love watching today’s Kentucky basketball and like all UK fans, I am ready for the Billy Clyde era. But as we begin this new time in Kentucky basketball history, we should take a minute and remember the foundation of the program as well. Talk to an older fan sometime and listen to them speak of the players of yesteryear and what they meant to the program and state. And take time to honor and remember on occasions such as Saturday, former players like the “Fiddling Five”. At its core, that is Kentucky basketball.

Article written by Matt Jones

23 responses to “Saturday we Honor the “Fiddling Five””

  1. Ballplayer12

    Great for them, can’t wait to see them

  2. Al Purnell here

    1st time in years the Fiddling Five have been in Rupp.

  3. MrBlueHead

    ocho de mayp

  4. brianaCat

    #2 Go for a walk or something!

  5. Scotland

    Fiddlin’ Five played the NCAA Regionals in Lexington and NCAA Final 4 in Louisville.

  6. Chris in Louisville

    I thought they were called the fiddlin’ five because Rupp thought they had a tendency to ‘fiddle’ around early in games.

  7. Chris in Louisville

    can’t post

  8. billyb

    #4, how many championships did UCLA win on their home floor?

  9. kentucky rain

    While reading the boxscore/news report provided, I noticed an eerie similarity to the 1998 champs. 1) Don Mills who I believe is Cameron’s father hit the go ahead shot in the 58 championship-just like Cameron did against Duke in the 98 regional finals. 2)This team seemed to make a habit of trailing early and having to fight back-just like the Comeback Cats did. Wow now thats Spooky!

  10. The Truth

    Dude before I even read the second paragraph, That was one of the greatest things I have every read, describing the University of Kentucky Basketball.

  11. Chris in Louisville

    Gotta root for Arkansas and Vandy tomorrow. If one of them doesn’t win, we can’t win the east.

  12. billyb

    Cameron Mills’ father is Terry Mills of Barbourville, who played in the late 60s. Don Mills was, I believe, from Berea and not related.

  13. GoCats

    did anyone see Kelenna last night? 33 POINTS 8 REBOUNDS, including a beautiful baseline dunk.

  14. Scotland

    #6 none. And the Fiddlin’ Five did not win on their home floor, either. Freedom Hall was the site of the NCAA championships.

  15. Chris in Louisville

    I thought they were called the “Fiddlin five” because Rupp said they had a tendency to fiddle around early in games.

  16. billyb

    believe you’re wrong about that, #12. UCLA won at least 3 of their titles at Pauley Pavilion, including the one against us in 1975. If Pauley wasn’t their home court, it was down the street.

  17. Scotland The 1975 game was played in San Diego.

    No NCAA championship has ever been played at Pauley Pavillion in Westwood CA.

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