#4 on the list of Top 5 games while Rick Stansbury was an assistant coach at Mississippi State is #23 MSU 76, #4 Kentucky 71.
After the 1991 season Mississippi State went into rebuilding mode, and this game was the signal they were back. Rick Pitino had Kentucky poised for greatness after bringing them back from their late 80s lull and probation.
Rupp arena opened in 1976 and State failed to win there in 16 previous tries. In addition to that MSU had not beaten UK in Lexington since 1967 (played every year until 1991). MSU was coming off a home loss to Auburn and were heavy underdogs to Tony Delk, Antoine Walker and company. The Wildcats had won four in a row and were cruising towards another SEC Championship when the Bulldogs came in on a Tuesday night.
In the game, Marcus Grant got hot and hit six of eight from behind the arc and totaled 23 points. Erick Dampier kept the Cats out of the paint and the perimeter defense held them to 26% from the 3-point line. Dampier also added 17 points and 13 rebounds to seal the victory.
This victory got State over the hump in Lexington and was the signature win that really kicked off a great two-year run. It set the tone as MSU went on to the Sweet 16 in ’95 and Final Four in 1996.