1953–54 Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team
|1953–54 Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball|
SEC Regular season champions
Helms Foundation National Champions
|1953–54 record||25–0 (14–0 SEC)|
|Head coach||Adolph Rupp|
|Assistant coach||Harry Lancaster|
|Home arena||Memorial Coliseum|
The 1953–54 Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team represented University of Kentucky. The head coach was Adolph Rupp. The team was a member of the Southeast Conference and played their home games at Memorial Coliseum. They were named national champions by the Helms Athletic Foundation.
This team finished unbeaten a 25-0, and though it won the Southeastern Conference title and could have played in the NCAA tournament, it chose not to because star players Frank Ramsey, Cliff Hagan and Lou Tsioropoulos were ruled ineligible because they had already graduated. That rule has since been abolished, but it prevented the Wildcats from competing for the national championship.
|1953–54 Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team|
The Wildcats were the top-ranked team in the nation with a record of 25–0. Despite the undefeated season, the Wildcats did not participate in any post-season tournament. Three players (Lou Tsioropoulos, Frank Ramsey, and Cliff Hagan) had technically graduated the year before (when Kentucky was banned from playing a competitive schedule due to the point-shaving scandal a few years earlier), so those players were ruled ineligible for the NCAA tournament. Despite the wishes of the players, coach Adolph Rupp ultimately decided his team wouldn't play.
Team players drafted into the NBA
No one from the Wildcats was selected in the 1954 NBA Draft, as Ramsey, Hagan, and Tsioropoulos had been drafted the previous year, and those teams held their rights.
- "NCAA Division I Men's Basketball – NCAA Division I Champions". Rauzulu's Street. 2004. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-01-05. Retrieved 2013-01-18.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)