TV Time Out

Not too early to think about UK-Louisville roundball

By: Steve Moss
By: Steve Moss

I was cleaning out a closet here in the WKYT sports office and ran across a yellowing Herald-Leader sports section, the headline screaming, "Master, Turpin spur a Wildcat rout." The date was November 17, 1983 and UK had just whipped Louisville, 65-44. Quickly, I flashed onto this year's Dream Game matchup between the Cats and the Cards, one I've got circled on my calender as "must see." I've heard many say this season's game between UK and U of L might be one of the most anticipated in the rivalry's history.

I was cleaning out a closet here in the WKYT sports office and ran across a yellowing Herald-Leader sports section, the headline screaming, "Master, Turpin spur a Wildcat rout."  The date was November 17, 1983 and UK had just whipped Louisville, 65-44.

The newspaper article was about the second "Dream Game," then the season opener, played at Rupp Arena.  The Cats avenged that Mideast Regional loss the year prior. 

Quickly, I flashed onto this year's Dream Game matchup between the Cats and the Cards, one I've got circled on my calender as "must see."  I've heard many say this season's game between UK and U of L might be one of the most anticipated in the rivalry's history.

And for good reason.  First, there's a new sheriff in the L-E-X.  John Calipari has taken the Commonwealth by storm, Twitter-ing his way into the hearts and minds of Wildcat fans across the state, while desperately pushing the UK brand nationally.

The UK coach's recruiting class is ranked as one of the best ever and several freshmen will have major impacts in the latest edition of the Dream Game.

Calipari even has pleaded with UK fans to not put too much stock into one basketball game.  Yeah, like that's going to work.

This IS Kentucky versus Louisville, after all, soon to burn white hot, thanks to the ongoing saga of Cardinals' coach Rick Pitino.

After leading the Cats to unprecedented heights, Pitino finally bolted to the NBA, despite several years of denying he had any interest.  UK fans have never forgiven the man.  Remember the infamous "Benedict Pitino" sign, fashioned by a UK fan, just for Pitino's first game back at Rupp?

Calipari has long been compared to Pitino.  The Louisville coach even helped Calipari get his first job, kicking in money so UMass could make the hire.  But by all indications, the two coaches aren't about to exchange Christmas cards anytime soon.

Talk about spicing up the rivalry?  Pitino finds himself embroiled in a tumultuous scandal involving another woman and Cat fans aren't likely to let him forget that, too. 

When it's all said and done, the game might not live up to the hype, considering the inexperienced players each side has.  But rest assured it's going to be fun, in the weeks and days ahead, as the game approaches.  We're still months away, but already I can't wait.

Those are the highlights... Stay tuned.

 

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