O n its face, it was just a lights show with some over-the-top theatrics, and a half-hearted intrasquad game involving one of the country’s pre-eminent college basketball programs. There was little reason to believe that the 2014 edition of Big Blue Madness, the unofficial kickoff of the University of Kentucky basketball season held on Oct. 17 of that year, would be anything more than a chance for coach John Calipari to promote his team and his school’s ample resources.

Sure, the event was on ESPNU, and those Wildcats would go on to run through the regular season undefeated, reach the Final Four, and produce four lottery picks and another pair of second-round selections. And, of course, Big Blue Nation will eat up anything Wildcats-related. Rupp Arena was packed for the glorified scrimmage.

Give it a few hours, and the event would become host to one of the more iconic viral moments in recent sports history. It had everything, minus an adorable animal acting like a human, that the Internet loves: high celebrity, and high failure. Complex spoke to players, journalists, entertainers and observers who were either at Rupp Arena that night, or would later closely observer what took place: Drake’s infamous airball at Big Blue Madness.

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