If you’re wondering how far back the Louisville/Kentucky basketball rivalry goes back, you’re about to find out.
A fight broke out between a 68-year-old Kentucky fan and a 71-year-old Louisville fan earlier this week at a Georgetown, KY dialysis clinic. The two elderly men allegedly got into a trash talking and “hand gesturing” duel before the Cardinals fan ultimately punched his Kentucky counterpart in the face. Despite the altercation, neither man is pressing charges.
Louisville faces Kentucky Saturday in the Final Four matchup at 6:09pm and the winner will take on the winner of Ohio St./Kansas in the championship game on Monday. The rival universities are only 70 miles apart from one another and play a regular season game every year since Governor John Y. Brown forced a bill in the State Legislature to do so in the 1980’s. The rivalry game has a different tone this weekend however. The two teams have never met in the Final Four and reports out of Kentucky are comparing the tension in the state to Armageddon. The game will act as the ultimate tiebreaker with Kentucky and Louisville having met in the NCAA Tournament four previous times with both sides winning twice.
The game will also act a tiebreaker for the two legendary head coaches involved. Louisville’s Rick Pitino and Kentucky’s John Calipari have a relatively frosty relationship and the all-time series between the two is tied 8-8 (technically 8-7 in favor of Pitino because one of Calipari’s win was vacated due to violations). Throw in the fact that Pitino won a national championship while coaching the Wildcats from 1989-1997 and you have a game that is so stuffed with storylines that it’s about to pop. Let’s just hope that the Bluegrass State is still in one piece once it’s all over.
About the Author
Written by John Buffone
John was born in Rural Valley, Pennsylvania. He attended Clarion University and received a degree in Mass Media Arts and Journalism. He currently hosts "The Sports Zone with John Buffone" on AM 1380 WTYM in Kittanning, PA. John is also a sports columnist for the Kittanning Paper and a contributor to Examiner.com, and CatholicSportsJournal.com.