clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

On The 30th Anniversary Of Louisville And Kentucky's 'Dream Game'

Thirty years ago today, the defining moment of the Louisville/Kentucky rivalry took place when the pair competed in what is still referred to today as the "Dream Game"

The two teams hadn't played since 1959 when Peck Hickman's unranked Cardinals knocked off Adolph Rupp's second-ranked Wildcats 76-61 in the Mideast Regional semifinals. The victory paved the way for U of L's first trip to the Final Four. Since then the Cardinals had won a national championship and become a major player on the national scene, and Louisville fans craved a shot at "big brother" that Rupp and subsequently Joe B. Hall refused to allow.

But the game finally happened in '83 when the teams were paired in the same region and met in the Mideast Regional championship on March 26 in Knoxville. Despite a buzzer-beating shot by Jim Master to send the game into overtime, the Cardinals ran off 14 straight points in the extra period and prevailed 80-68.

The U of L community erupted and quickly the governor, legislators and even the boards of trustees at both universities began to talk about a series between the two. Shortly thereafter, the announcement was made that Louisville and Kentucky would begin playing each other annually.

It's 30 years later, and the Cardinals are once again best in state.