December 27, 1980 - Notre Dame defeats #2 Kentucky

As soon as Digger Phelps took over as head coach at Notre Dame, replacing Johnny Dee, the Kentucky-Notre Dame series became a bit more heated. The first nine meetings saw Kentucky winning eight times but there were many close games in the series, several with both teams ranked. Coming into today's game at Freedom Hall, Notre Dame was ranked #8 in the country and Kentucky was ranked #2. Led by senior Kelly Tripucka, the Irish were able to break the younger Kentucky team.

The experience of the Notre Dame team allowed them to constantly change defensive looks and confuse the Wildcats. Notre Dame played a slow offensive game waiting for one-on-one matchups. This strategy gave the Irish many easy back-door layups and free throws. At halftime, the game was tied 34-34. With an effective stall in the second half, the Irish were able to pull away and won the game 67-61. For the second time in ten years, Digger Phelps and the Irish walked away as victors.

            1  2     
Notre Dame 34 33 - 67
Kentucky   34 37 - 62

The Shively Memorial Plaque was presented to Notre Dame senior Kelly Tripucka. The plaque was presented by Notre Dame in memory of the late Kentucky Athletic Director Bernie Shively to the Most Valuable Player in the Kentucky-Notre Dame game. Tripucka had 30 points and went 14-15 from the free throw line.

Keywords: basketball, digger phelps, kelly tripucka, kentucky, johnny dee, freedom hall, shively memorial plaque

Posted On: 2011-12-27 03:15:00 by IrishTrpt07


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