Kentucky faces the Rebels from Ole Miss tomorrow night at 9:00PM in Oxford, Mississippi.
The Rebels come into the game as one of Kentucky’s 4 best opponents remaining in their season. Ranked #32 in the RPI and #16 in the AP poll, Ole Miss could give a Kentucky squad in need of a signature win and an RPI boost, exactly that.
Here’s your 7 bullet points or less that you’ll need to link the Wildcats to the Rebels:
- Ole Miss’ mascot is the Rebel. The name “Rebels” replaced the previous nickname “The Flood” after a student newspaper competition where “The Rebels” received 18 of 21 first place votes. “The Massas”, a term used by slaves to refer to the masters, was apparently a close second.
- The current mascot, “Rebel Black Bear” runs the sidelines during Ole Miss sporting events. The name comes from Oxford native, William Faulkner’s book “The Bear”. “The Bear” beat out many other promising entries, with second and third falling to ”The Land Shark” and “Hotty Toddy”. What’s a “Hotty Toddy” you ask?
- This is a “Hotty Toddy”
“The Bear” replaced former mascot “Colonel Reb”. “Colonel Reb”, the mascot that began to appear on the sideline in 1979, was a plantation owner.
Kentucky was once home to the ABA team, The Kentucky Colonels. These Colonels were represented by “Ziggy”, a prized Brussels Griffon.
Louie Dampier was one of the most famous Kentucky Colonel’s. Playing from 1967-1976, Dampier was one of two ABA players to play their entire career in the league with the same team.
Dampier more importantly was a Kentucky Wildcat before his time in the ABA. As one of Rupp’s Runts, Dampier was part of the National Championship Runners-Up team that lost the 1966 Title to Texas Western College.
There you have it, 7 degrees of Kentucky to Ole Miss. Re-read and shake your head as you figure out how we got from Ole Miss to Kentucky via black bears and ABA basketball and try not to think about what history would have been like if Ole Miss would’ve voted slightly different in 1936.