Top 10 Arkansas-Kentucky games

LEFT: Arkansas' Michael Qualls celebrates following Arkansas' 87-85 overtime win over No. 13 Kentucky at Bud Walton Arena on Jan. 14, 2014. RIGHT: Qualls dunks the basketball with 0.2 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Razorbacks the go-ahead score.
LEFT: Arkansas' Michael Qualls celebrates following Arkansas' 87-85 overtime win over No. 13 Kentucky at Bud Walton Arena on Jan. 14, 2014. RIGHT: Qualls dunks the basketball with 0.2 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Razorbacks the go-ahead score.

— Through the years, Arkansas and Kentucky have provided college basketball with several classic games.

The series has seen it all - buzzer beaters, upsets, overtime games, comebacks and championship stakes.

The Razorbacks may not be playing at the same level as they did in the mid-1990s, but they have managed to sustain a competitive series with college basketball's winningest program.

Here is a look at the 10 best Arkansas-Kentucky games, listed in chronological order.

March 25, 1978 - No. 5 Arkansas vs. No. 1 Kentucky (St. Louis)

Eddie Sutton's first trip to the Final Four ended when his Arkansas team met Kentucky in St. Louis.

The Razorbacks pulled within one point with three minutes remaining, but that was as close as they would get, as the Wildcats won 64-59 en route to the 1978 National Championship.

Arkansas' "Triplets" - Ron Brewer, Marvin Delph and Sidney Moncrief - combined for 44 points, while Kentucky was led by Jack Givens' 23 points and nine rebounds.

Jan. 25, 1992 - No. 9 Arkansas at No. 8 Kentucky

In the schools' first meeting since Arkansas joined the SEC, the Razorbacks traveled to Rupp Arena and snapped Kentucky's 31-game home winning streak in blowout fashion, winning 105-88.

Playing in front of 24,324 fans (a Rupp Arena record at the time), Arkansas held Wildcats star Jamal Mashburn to four points and four rebounds. Instead, it was Deron Feldhaus and future Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey who led Kentucky with 22 points each.

The Razorbacks' new version of the "Triplets" - Todd Day, Lee Mayberry and Oliver Miller - combined for 60 points and led a group of six players scoring in double figures. Arkansas also made 41 of 49 free throws and Roosevelt Wallace contributed a double-double, with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Feb. 9, 1994 - No. 3 Arkansas at No. 4 Kentucky

After losing to Arkansas in 1992, Kentucky went on another home winning streak. By the time the Razorbacks returned to Lexington, that streak had reached 33 games.

It appeared that it would extend to 34, as the Wildcats built a 15-point lead in the first half. However, Arkansas chipped away at that lead, cutting it to six at halftime before overtaking Kentucky with a 19-3 run in second half.

The Wildcats pulled within two with two minutes left, but the Razorbacks held on for a 90-82 win.

Scotty Thurman scored 26 points and Corliss Williamson notched a double-double with 21 points and 14 rebounds for the Razorbacks. Kentucky made just 10 of 40 three-point shots.


Scotty Thurman hit a go-ahead shot with 10 seconds left to beat Kentucky on Super Bowl Sunday in 1995. (Photo by Andy Shupe)

Jan. 29, 1995 - No. 5 Kentucky at No. 9 Arkansas

With 20,298 fans watching from the stands (a Bud Walton Arena record at the time) and hundreds of thousands more watching on CBS, Thurman drained a jump shot in the game's closing seconds to help Arkansas to a 94-92 win on Super Bowl Sunday.

Kentucky took the lead on Walter McCarty's tip-in with 25 seconds left, but Thurman answered 15 seconds later and Clint McDaniel sealed the victory with a baseline steal on the other end.

Thurman finished with 22 points, while Williamson had 28 points and nine rebounds. Kentucky was led by Tony Delk, who scored a game-high 31 points.

March 12, 1995 - No. 5 Arkansas vs. No. 3 Kentucky (Atlanta)

In what some consider the best SEC basketball game of all-time, Kentucky rallied back from a 19-point deficit to force overtime, then overcame a nine-point deficit in the extra period to beat Arkansas 95-93 in the SEC Tournament championship game at the Georgia Dome.

The Wildcats had a chance to win in regulation, but Rodrick Rhodes missed a pair of potential go-ahead free throws with 1.3 seconds left.

With the Razorbacks leading 91-82 in overtime, Williamson - who scored 22 points for Arkansas - fouled out and Arkansas didn't attempt another shot from the floor until Thurman's desperation heave in the final seconds. Kentucky was also aided by poor free throw shooting, as Arkansas made just 2 of 6 in the final 1:11.

Freshman Antoine Walker led the Wildcats with a game-high 23 points.

Feb. 20, 1999 - No. 6 Kentucky at Arkansas


Kareem Reid celebrates following Arkansas' 1999 upset of Kentucky at Bud Walton Arena. (Photo by Andy Shupe)

Seemingly playing for a spot in the NCAA Tournament, Arkansas hung on for a 74-70 win over Kentucky at Bud Walton Arena.

The Razorbacks led 67-54 with a little more than seven minutes remaining, but an 11-0 run by the Wildcats cut that lead to two. Kentucky pulled within one with just under three minutes left, but couldn't get over the hump and missed its last six shots.

One of the misses came on a putback attempt by Kentucky's Desmond Allison. The ball went in the hoop before popping out and landing on the back of the rim, where it stayed and resulted in a jump ball.

“I think the good Lord smiled down on us on that play and said, 'Hoss, I'm a Razorback today,'" then Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson said after the game.

Arkansas got 17-point performances from Pat Bradley and Kareem Reid. Four days later, the Razorbacks pulled off another top-10 upset, beating No. 2 Auburn 104-88 and ensuring an NCAA bid.

Feb. 23, 2002 - Arkansas at No. 12 Kentucky

Kentucky easily beat the Razorbacks 71-58, but it was the postgame that made this meeting memorable.

Asked about a long pregame talk with Kentucky coach Tubby Smith, Richardson said he knew Smith was under pressure and related it to his own situation during a down season at Arkansas. Richardson added, "If they go ahead and pay me my money, they can take my job tomorrow."

The comment didn't sit well with Arkansas administrators. Under intense media scrutiny, Richardson buckled down on his comment two nights later during a tense press conference in Fayetteville and was fired five days later following a loss to Mississippi State.

Richardson finished with seven wins over Kentucky - three more than all other Arkansas coaches combined.


Emotions were high and Rupp Arena was sold-out when John Pelphrey returned to his alma mater in 2008. (Photo by Jason Ivester)

Feb. 23, 2008 - Arkansas at Kentucky

Arkansas returned to Lexington with a new coach: John Pelphrey, a two-time captain of the Wildcats during his playing days.

In Pelphrey's first trip to Rupp Arena as an opposing coach, the Razorbacks took a one-point lead with 2:36 remaining on a floater by Sonny Weems, but couldn't hold on to it and lost to Kentucky 63-58.

The Wildcats had a balanced attack, with Ramel Bradley and Joe Crawford scoring 18 points and Patrick Patterson contributing 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Arkansas was a one-man show, with Weems scoring 26 points on 10 of 20 shooting.

Feb. 23, 2011 - No. 22 Kentucky at Arkansas

Needing a win to help his job security, Pelphrey led Arkansas to a dramatic 77-76 overtime win over his alma mater.

Marcus Britt's breakaway layup with 17 seconds left gave the Razorbacks the lead and proved to the difference after Brandon Knight missed three potential game-winning shots in the final seven seconds.

It was Pelphrey's first win over Kentucky in four tries and also snapped Arkansas' 10-game losing streak against its SEC rival.

Rotnei Clark scored 26 points and Marshawn Powell had a double-double - 22 points and 10 rebounds - for the Razorbacks, while the Wildcats were led by Knight's 26-point outing.

The win ultimately wasn't enough to save Pelphrey's job, as Arkansas ended the season on a three-game losing streak to finish 18-13.

Jan. 14, 2014 - No. 13 Kentucky at Arkansas

Michael Qualls' career at Arkansas was filled with high-flying dunks, but none were more memorable than his putback at the buzzer to beat Kentucky 87-85 in overtime in 2014.

After James Young's three-pointer with 10.2 seconds left tied the game, the Razorbacks went down the court and Rashad Madden attempted a three-pointer of his own. The ball bounced off the rim into the air, where Qualls grabbed it and slammed it through the hoop just before the buzzer sounded.

Kentucky tried a full-court pass after officials put two-tenths of a second back on the clock, but the pass got stuck in the scoreboard and Arkansas regained possession.

The Razorbacks nearly won in regulation after Alandise Harris' three-point play put them up 74-71 with 9.4 seconds left. However, the Wildcats responded with a three-pointer by Andrew Harrison to force overtime.

Qualls and Madden each scored 18 points and Bobby Portis had 11 points and 10 rebounds for Arkansas, while Young finished with 23 points and Julius Randle had 20 points and 14 rebounds for Kentucky.