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March 22, 2007

Timeline: Tubby Smith at Kentucky

May 12, 1997: Tubby Smith announces that he is leaving Georgia to take over as the Kentucky men's basketball coach. Smith had posted a 45-19 record in two seasons at Georgia.

March 22, 1998: Smith's switch to a smaller lineup in the second half helps Kentucky rally from a 17-point, second-half deficit to beat Duke 86-84 in the NCAA South Regional championship.

March 30, 1998: Smith caps his first season at Kentucky by leading the Wildcats to a 78-69 victory over Utah in the national championship game. Kentucky rallies from a 41-31 halftime deficit and becomes the first team to ever win a championship game after trailing by more than eight points at halftime. Smith later beats out Wildcats quarterback Tim Couch in balloting for the Kentucky sportsman of the year.

March 21, 1999: Kentucky loses 73-66 to Michigan State in the NCAA Midwest Regional final to end the Wildcats' run of three consecutive Final Four appearances.

March 18, 2000: After losing their first Southeastern Conference tournament game to Arkansas, the Wildcats lose 52-50 to Syracuse in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The loss ends Kentucky's string of five consecutive Sweet 16 appearances.

March 11, 2001: Kentucky beats Ole Miss 77-55 to win its eighth SEC tournament title in the last 10 years.

March 22, 2001: Kentucky can't erase all of a 19-point halftime deficit and loses 80-76 to Southern California in the NCAA East Regional semifinals.

March 22, 2002: Kentucky loses 78-68 to eventual national champion Maryland to assure that the Wildcats would miss the regional finals for the third straight year. The loss ends a season that was marred by suspensions, transfers and injuries.

March 16, 2003: The Wildcats beat Mississippi State 64-57 to win their ninth SEC tournament title in the last 12 years.

March 21, 2003: Kentucky enters the NCAA Tournament as the top-ranked team in the nation.

March 29, 2003: Dwayne Wade records a triple-double with 29 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists as Marquette grabs a 21-point lead and goes on to upset Kentucky 83-69 in the NCAA Midwest Regional final.

April 6, 2003: The National Association of Basketball Coaches selects Smith as its coach of the year, which allows him to sweep all seven of the national coach of the year honors recognized by the NCAA. Smith also won the Associated Press, United States Basketball Writers Association, Naismith, Basketball Times, The Sporting News and the CBS/Chevrolet coach of the year awards.

March 14, 2004: Kentucky trounces Florida 89-73 to win its 10th SEC tournament title in the last 13 years.

Tubby Smith's Coaching Record
The year-by-year head coaching record of Tubby Smith, who has reportedly decided to leave Kentucky to take over Minnesota's program.
Season School Record Postseason
1991-92 Tulsa 17-13 None
1992-93 Tulsa 15-14 None
1993-94 Tulsa 23-8 NCAA Sweet 16
1994-95 Tulsa 24-8 NCAA Sweet 16
1995-96 Georgia 21-10 NCAA Sweet 16
1996-97 Georgia 24-9 NCAA First Round
1997-98 Kentucky 35-4 NCAA Champions
1998-99 Kentucky 28-9 NCAA Regional Final
1999-00 Kentucky 23-10 NCAA Second Round
2000-01 Kentucky 24-10 NCAA Sweet 16
2001-02 Kentucky 22-10 NCAA Sweet 16
2002-03 Kentucky 32-4 NCAA Regional Final
2003-04 Kentucky 27-5 NCAA Second Round
2004-05 Kentucky 28-6 NCAA Regional Final
2005-06 Kentucky 22-13 NCAA Second Round
2006-07 Kentucky 22-12 NCAA Second Round

March 21, 2004: Mo Finley sinks a 17-footer with 12.2 seconds left as Alabama-Birmingham shocks the top-seeded Wildcats 76-75 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Kentucky had entered the tournament as the second-ranked team in the nation.

March 26, 2005: Patrick Sparks makes a game-tying 3-point shot at the end of regulation, but Kentucky goes on to lose 94-88 in double overtime to Michigan State in the NCAA Austin Regional final. This marks Kentucky's only appearance in a regional final over the last four seasons.

Jan. 10, 2006: Joe Crawford misses a potential game-tying 3-pointer in the closing seconds as Vanderbilt beats Kentucky 57-52 for its first victory at Rupp Arena since Jan. 28, 1974.

Feb. 11, 2006: DeMarre Carroll scores 22 points as Vanderbilt outlasts Kentucky 84-81 to sweep the season series with the Wildcats for the first time since the 1973-74 season. This game also capped Kentucky's second three-game losing streak of the season.

March 19, 2006: Patrick Sparks scores a career-high 28 points, but the Wildcats still fall 87-83 to top-seeded Connecticut in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Feb. 25, 2007: Derrick Byars makes a go-ahead basket with less than 30 seconds remaining as Vanderbilt rallies to beat Kentucky 67-65 after trailing for virtually the entire game. The victory gives Vanderbilt a four-game winning streak against Kentucky for the first time since 1974.

March 4, 2007: Al Horford and Joakim Noah each post double-doubles as Florida whips Kentucky 85-72 in the regular-season finale for both teams. The victory made Florida the first SEC team ever to beat the Wildcats six consecutive times.

March 18, 2007: Brandon Rush goes 6-for-7 from 3-point range and Kansas shoots 57 percent overall as the Jayhawks pull away in the second half to beat Kentucky 88-76 in the second round of the NCAA West Regional. Kentucky closed the season with seven losses in its last 11 games.

March 22, 2007: Smith reportedly decides to leave Kentucky to take the head coaching job at Minnesota. He has posted a 263-83 record in 10 seasons with the Wildcats.

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