NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Kentucky coach John Calipari likes to say
there are no rivalry games at this point in the season.
Try telling that to the Bluegrass State, where basketball's
version of the civil war - Kentucky vs. Louisville, winner plays
for the NCAA title - has so divided the small state that senior
citizens have actually come to fisticuffs.
Basketball purists may argue that Duke-North Carolina or
Kansas-Missouri are the game's biggest, most intense rivalries. But
those are like quaint tea parties compared with the animosity
between Kentucky and Louisville. Think Auburn-Alabama on the
hardwood, and you get the idea.
Top-seeded Kentucky has an overwhelming edge in the series with
its in-state rival, winning 29 of their 43 games, including a 69-62
victory at Rupp Arena on Dec. 31.