Kentucky made just 15 field goals in 62 attempts and just three 3-point shots in 25 attempts.
A year later Rush remembers the game well and he knows the Kentucky players and fans will remember as well. "They are going to remember that game when they walk onto the court," Rush said, "and they are going to want to make up for it."
Kansas junior guard Russell Robinson added that the Wildcats, "(They) will have big incentive. A lot is riding for their coach. They'll remember the last two years. It's two great programs."
Robinson refers to the year before, when Kansas beat Kentucky in Rupp Arena.
Kansas nearly obliterated Niagra on Thursday to run its overall record to 31-4 (14-2 Conference). It was their 12th consecutive win dating back to February 3 when they lost a tight contest to Texas A&M 69-66. Kansas is 4-1 against teams ranked in the top 20.
Yet, the Jayhawks will tell you they are taking nothing for granted, especially Kentucky. Coach Bill Self has expressed respect and admiration for coach Tubby Smith, "as much as anyone in the business."
"They are a better team than last year and more balanced," Self insisted. "They really guard, don't give up easy baskets. They have always been that way under Tubby Smith."
"I know Kentucky has strong transition defense," Rush added. "This is going to be a much different game."
For their part, the Wildcats seem anything but intimidated by facing the team that beat them so badly last year. When interviewed by a Kansas journalist at KU Sports Saturday morning, senior Bobby Perry was asked which program had the strongest tradition. Perry did not mince words, "Kentucky, by far, man. Got more wins, got more championships, got better players, come on, it's Kentucky, man. Numbers don't lie at all. I don't think there would be too many people that could argue the facts. So I believe Kentucky definitely has the best tradition in the nation."
Perry acknowledged that Kansas was rich in tradition. When asked what Perry thought of when he thinks of Kansas, Perry responded, "Excellence. They're definitely one of the top programs in the nation. They've won so many games, they've won championships. Along with us, UCLA, North Carolina, what more can you say?"
"We realize we lost to them two straight times," Perry concluded, "And who would know that we'd get a third opportunity to face them, and on the biggest stage, them being a number one seed? We feel like it's just a great opportunity for us to continue in the tournament."