Photo courtesy of NoleFan.org
Even before Florida State was competing for the ACC or making deep runs in the NCAA Tournament under head coach Leonard Hamilton, the Seminoles still served as a dangerous opponent for ranked teams.
Now 72, Hamilton was not yet a teenager the first time that FSU ever knocked off a ranked opponent. That happened on this day 60 years ago as FSU went to Lexington and stunned No. 20 Kentucky, 63-58.
Setting the Stage
Head coach Adolph Rupp had spent nearly three decades at Kentucky and was just two years removed from his fourth national championship as the Wildcats took their home court on Dec. 3, 1960. Kentucky had opened the season with a win over VMI and few thought the Seminoles stood much of a chance.
FSU had never knocked off a ranked team, but J.K. “Bud” Kennedy’s program was improving. FSU opened the season with an 88-60 win over Tampa. That day in Lexington, the Seminoles made a major statement.
The teams were tied six times in the first half, but FSU closed the half on a 7-0 run. Dale Ricketts’ late basket gave the Seminoles a 34-32 lead at the break and they never trailed again.
FSU led by as many as eight in the second half, but the Wildcats closed to within one at 51-50 with less than seven minutes to play. Dave Fedor tallied four points during a 7-1 run for the Seminoles. From there, the contest was never closer than three.
Fedor led FSU with 17 points and 15 rebounds. Bill Cotton and Ray Swain added 15 and 13 points, respectively, in the win.
The teams combined to go just 25-for-49 from the free throw line, but FSU shot 49% from the floor to just 39% for the Wildcats. Larry Pursiful led Kentucky with 16 points on 8-for-14 from the field.
The loss for Kentucky would prove not to be too detrimental. The Wildcats went on to reach the Elite Eight where they fell to Ohio State.
For FSU, the win would be its only victory during a 3-game road trip. The Seminoles would go on to finish 14-10.
It would be more than eight years later before Florida State knocked off another ranked team. In recent years however, the Seminoles have accomplished that feat with regularity. It was first done against a college basketball blue blood on this day six decades ago.