1948 College Basketball Recap
Upset in the NIT final the year before, Kentucky went back to New York a year later and brought home the NCAA championship.
This time coach Adolph Rupp had a new starting line-up, the Fabulous Five—center Alex Groza, forwards Wah Wah Jones and Cliff Barker, and guards Ralph Beard and Kenny Rollins.
After winning a fifth straight SEC title, Kentucky came into the NCAAs with a record of 33–3 and met defending NCAA titlist Holy Cross in the East Regional final. The Crusaders were 26–2 and riding an 18–game winning streak. They also had George Kaftan back and a sophomore ballhandling whiz named Bob Cousy in the backcourt.
Rupp assigned Rollins to guard Cousy in the game's key match-up, and with Rollins holding Cousy to just one point, Kentucky won, 60–52. Three days later, UK beat West Regional winner Baylor by 16 for the title. Dolph Schayes and NYU went into the NIT final on a 19–game win streak, but lost to Easy Ed Macauley and St. Louis, 65–52.