- Saturday, February 27 1932 -
Southern Conference Tournament (at Atlanta, GA)
Kentucky - 42 (Head Coach: Adolph Rupp)
North Carolina - 43 (Head Coach: George Shepard)
Halftime Score: Kentucky 25, North Carolina 24
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Game Writeup - by Neville Dunn, Lexington Herald
North Carolina Puts Kentucky Out of Tourney
Wildcats Lose Ding-Dong Battle When Tarheel Forward Fires Remarkable One-Armed Shot Into Basket
"I'M PROUD OF MY BOYS," COACH RUPP DECLARES
ATLANTA, Ga., Feb. 27. -- A Kentucky team that could not withstand the terrific drive of a battle-crazed North Carolina University quintet in the final minutes of the game lost its chance to win the annual Southern Conference tournament by a single point here this afternoon. The score was 43 to 42.
The game, the second of the day's quarter-final round, went down in the tourney annuals as the most ferociously fought, the most free-scoring tilt in this year's championship event. Twice Kentucky had a commanding lead - at the outset of the first half and at the beginning of the second period - but lost it when Carolina, knowing not the meaning of defeat, staged drives that the Wildcats, cracking under the pace, could not stop.
Their championship hopes blasted, the Wildcats will board a Louisville and Nashville train for home Sunday morning at 7:40 o'clock. They will arrive at the station in Lexington at 7:25 o'clock Sunday night.
Coach Adolph Rupp, whose team was eliminated in the finals of last year's tournament by two points, was characteristically calm after the Wildcat's defeat today.
"North Carolina played a great game," he said. "But I am proud of my boys. They made mistakes, yes, but they tried their best to win, and that is all I can ask of them."
Whether it was influenza, impaired physical condition or lack of skill that led to the Wildcats' defeat when they apparently had victory clinched, neither Coach Rupp nor any of the Kentucky fans who saw the game perhaps will even know. But this much is certain -- the Wildcats slowed down badly at the end of each period. And it was that slowing down, that slackening of their own pace in the face of Carolina's closing rush, that put them out of the tournament.
No Kentucky team, as brilliant as it may have been in the past, was conceded a better chance to win the championship of the Southern Conference than the quintet Coach Rupp brought to Atlanta this year. But the gods who rule over the tiny domain in which the greatest net battles of the conference are fought every year again decreed otherwise, and Kentucky joins in defeat those other quintets which were eliminated yesterday and today.
Tarheels Show Courage
The game was a brilliant contest, and not the least brilliant feature was Carolina's magnificent splurge that sent it into the lead by one point with only 30 seconds to play remaining. Kentucky had led at the half, 25 to 24, and it increased that slim advantage to a nine-point lead, 36 to 27, midway of the second period.
Then came the collapse of the Wildcats. Carolina, led by the uncanny marksmanship of Weathers and Alexander, crept up on the Big Blue. With a few minutes to go, the Carolina five jumped into the lead 39 to 38, on a free throw by Alexander when a technical foul was called on Kentucky because DeMoisey failed to report to the officials when he went into the game to replace Sale. Weathers had tied the score, 38 to 38, on a neat crip shot a moment before.
When the score became tied, DeMoisey was rushed into the game by Coach Rupp,and he fortunately made up for his mistake of not reporting by sinking one of his famed pivot shots to put the Cats back into the lead, 40 to 39.
But Carolina was irresistible. It came on and on, and Weathers broke through for a crip.
Worthington retaliated, and put the Cats into the lead for the last time, 42 to 41.
Weathers Deals Death Blow
The game was just about over. But Carolina, fighting like demons, took the ball, and Weathers eluded the Kentucky defense and shot a remarkable basket from the sidelines. It was a one-armed heave, and it went squarely through the hoops.
Only 30 second remained then. The Cats defeat staring them in the eye, tried hysterically to get just one more basket, but the gun sounded before they could wrest themselves away from the white-clad demons who opposed them.
Kentucky was figured to be the best team in the tournament, but in North Carolina, it met a club that was, for 40 minutes at least, its equal in skill and courage and its superior in stamina and drive. Kentucky lacked no brilliance itself in this extraordinary battle of basketball geniuses, but it did not have the stamina to hold up when the Carolina lads started their last desperate drive.
Sale proved once again that he is a great basketball player. Carolina swarmed all over him, most of the time having two men on him, but he got away often enough to toss in 20 points, brining his two-game total up to 41 points.
But Sale was dog-tired in the last half. He was so exhausted his legs buckled and his feet dragged as if weighted with lead. He could scarcely raise his hands to fight off the Carolina thrusts.
With Sale in the stellar roles for Kentucky were Ellis Johnson and Dutch Kreuter, who played high class ball throughout the game.
For Carolina, it would be difficult to lay one's finger on the star that shone brightest in their surprising triumph. Weathers and Alexander tossed in the points that won the game, but their teammates fought like mad men who would win or die in the attempt.