1998 NCAA® Division I
Men’s Basketball Championship
Kentucky vs. Utah
March 30, 1998 – San Antonio, Texas
Trailing at half-time, Kentucky’s Wildcats were hard pressed to maintain their new nickname, “The Comeback Cats.” No team had won the final with a trailing margin of more than 8 points throughout the history of the tournament, and Kentucky was behind by 10.
The Wildcats accomplished what no other team had done in a final game before. Finding new life in the second half as the Utes were wearing down, Kentucky won by 9 for a final score of 78-69. Kentucky Coach Orlando “Tubby” Smith earned not only his first title, but also was named NCAA’s winningest first-year coach at any school. Jeff Sheppard, University of Kentucky, was named Most Outstanding Player.