Photos from the Lexington Herald-Leader archives updated daily

Kentucky fans welcome national champions home, 1948

Posted on April 2, 2018 | in Uncategorized | by

A crowd of 15,000 fans greeted the University of Kentucky’s 1948 NCAA national championship team, April 2, 1948 outside Lexington’s Union Station on Main Street after their arrival from New York. It was the schools’ first NCAA title and the team was met by politicians, three bands and football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant when they stepped of the train. Coach Adolph Rupp and members of the squad were assembled on a platform in front of the door of the station for a brief ceremony. The crowd overflowed all standing room on the ground level around the station, covered building roofs and filled windows furnishing vantage points. Center Alex Groza, the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, was met with a roar of approval after he told the vast crowd, “We said we’d bring home the bacon and we just hope we brought enough.” After the bands played “On, On, U of K,” the team climbed aboard a fire truck for a ride through a decorated downtown Lexington to campus before at least 5,000 more fans. Photo by John C. Wyatt | Staff

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