Monday, March 24, 2014

The Kentucky Basketball Hatetrix Reloaded

When I lived in Kentucky from 2001-2010, one of the more entertaining events for me next to Derby Week was watching the annual December basketball hatefest between the Kentucky Wildcats and Louisville Cardinals.

From the time I moved there in September 2001 until I left in May 2010 to come back to Texas I had the rabid fanbases of Cats and Cards Nations trying to get me to publicly declare whether I was a UK or Louisville fan.

They wanted me to choose to take either the blue Wildcat pill or the red Cardinal pill, but I managed to stay neutral during that time.

To be honest, the wall to wall coverage of that annual rivalry game is one of the things about the state I miss.

When I was setting up my 2014 NCAA men's tourney brackets, I noted the way they were set up, if both teams won their opening round games it would lead to a potential Sweet 16 clash between the current (Louisville) and last (Kentucky) NCAA champions to be played in Indianapolis. 

After the Wildcats narrow 78-76 tournament win yesterday over previously unbeaten Wichita State and defending NCAA champ Louisville knocking St. Louis out of the tournament with their 66-51 win to advance, we can take the word 'potential' out of that last paragraph and deal with the reality that the Kentucky basketball hatetrix has been reloaded.

It's Battle of the Bluegrass, Part II at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.  This time they are playing for higher stakes than just bragging rights as they did December 28 at Rupp Arena.  The Cats fans are already reminding the Cards fans of the 73-66 result of that December game, while the Cards fans are firing back it's all about what happens this Friday.   

KY house divided Cards and Cats to tip at 6:09 on SaturdayAnd what it's all about is a trip to the NCAA tournament Elite Eight at their bitter basketball rival's expense. 

The bitterly disappointed loser will have a hour and a half long lament filled drive down I-65 south from Indianapolis back to Kentucky while the winner stays in Circle City and plays for a possible trip to the Jerrydome and the Final Four.

The Kentucky Basketball Hatetrix will ensure this is not going to be a quiet week along I-64 or at any job locations, homes, sports bars or churches in Louisville, Lexington or anywhere else in Kentucky this week.  

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