A historic rival in both basketball and football, Kentucky and nearby Centre College always played fiercely against each other. Centre with Transylvania and Georgetown College, Centre rounded off Kentucky's major rivalries before Rupp and long before Louisville or Indiana.
Starting in 1906, Kentucky won the first three games but only before Centre College did the same, tying the series at 3. For the next three games Kentucky and Centre traded wins and the series lead, until Centre went on a five-game winning streak to break the tie.
The series was put on hold in 1910 and resumed in 1912 with Kentucky winning both games that year. The series was again put on hold for the 1913 and 1914 seasons. The next year the two met in Danville, with the result being the same, Kentucky blowing out Centre 38–5. Kentucky would win the next three games and extend their win streak to five, tying Centre's longest streak. The streak was snapped at five when Centre beat Kentucky twice in the next three games.
Starting in 1918 it was Centre's turn to dominate once again. The Colonels would rally of six straight wins over the Wildcats, once again taking the series lead over Kentucky. Kentucky would bounce back and win three straight games, but Centre responded by winning the following two. These two wins would be Centre's last against Kentucky.
Going into the '20s Kentucky held a losing record of 15–11 to their rival. Kentucky however was shedding its label as a struggling program under Coach Buncheit and later Coach Mauer. Kentucky would defeat Centre in every game after 1924, carrying their win streak to a total of 11 by the end of the series in 1930. The same year Coach Rupp would take the coaching job after John Mauer.
Kentucky-Centre College Rivalry
Men's basketball regular season history
January 6, 1906
Kentucky State College (Kentucky) 15 – Central University (Centre College) 14
February 13, 1929
Kentucky 47 – Centre College 11
November 3, 2017 (Exhibition game at Rupp Arena)
Total number of meetings
Kentucky: 42 points (1912), Centre College: 70 points (1910)