Apr 2, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; Kentucky Wildcats cheerleaders and mascot perform during the second half in the finals of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball Final Four against the Kansas Jayhawks at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE
Every freaking year! It doesn't matter who's playing or what I'm doing, when that NCAA championship game tips off, I instantly find myself transported back to the spring of 1998.
This year was a bit more defined because Kentucky had finally made their way back to the title game. It was something that had eluded them for the past 14 years. Of course, every Utah fan knows exactly how the Wildcats' last championship was won because, sadly, it came against the Runnin' Utes.
Up until a few seasons ago, Utah owned the distinction of biggest second half collapse in championship game history. Thank goodness Kansas, Kentucky's opponent Monday night, mounted a historic comeback of their own against Memphis in the '08 championship game, or that record would still stand.
The Utes were briefly mentioned tonight as the last opponent Kentucky beat to win it all, yet another reminder of a moment we'll never forget.
A moment that haunts every Utah fan every time March Madness rolls around. This is the sixth title game I've experienced since starting Block U and I'm pretty sure I end the night blogging about that painful game. It's torture, but also therapeutic.
So, instead of actually delving into those painful memories, I'll leave you on an upbeat note. I know it's hard to believe, after every tournament defeat we've seen at the hands of Kentucky, but there was once a championship won over the Wildcats. Sure, it happened long before any of us were alive, but it did happen. There's proof. They got that game on video!
The year was 1947. Harry Truman was president. Hitler had been toppled, and somehow the Runnin' Utes beat Adolph Rupp and his Kentucky Wildcats.
1947 NIT Championship Game: Utah vs. Kentucky (via MarriottLibrary)