It's exacerbated by the fact that these schools are situated in the two largest cites in the state in Louisville and Lexington and both campuses are only a 70 mile drive along I-64 from each other.
I still chuckle about the times during me living in Louisville Metro fans on either side of the Red or Blue divide would ask me during the week of the Battle for the Governor's Cup (football) or the Battle of the Bluegrass (basketball) whether I was a Cards or Cats fan.
They would not be satisfied with my 'I root for both teams' answer or 'I'm a University of Houston fan' in an attempt to stay neutral . They would continue to attempt to convert me into becoming a fire and brimstone spouting t-shirt wearing member of Cats or Cards Nation with a missionary zeal while lambasting every aspect of the other school..
During that week on the football and basketball schedules of both schools you have wall to wall saturation coverage in the Louisville Courier-Journal, the Lexington Herald-Leader and TV stations in both cities of the respective schools down to the microlevel, especially for the basketball game which is nationally televised .
You cannot escape it, so you sit back and enjoy the fun because bragging rights were on the line in addition to which school would get the lions share of the best instate athletes . But yeah, it does make me miss you wonderful peeps I left behind in the Bluegrass State even more
As for which team am I rooting for? The one with the African American head coach on the sidelines.. .