So the Kentucky Wildcats and the Louisville Cardinals will tip off in the Final Four on Saturday. In case you didn't know, this is a very big deal. The UK-UL rivalry is arguably the sport's most heated, spanning 43 meetings over nearly 100 years and whole mess of cultural differences. Mike Rutherford at Cards Chronicle writes why the rivalry is the best in college basketball.
The use of "hate" is excessive in almost any context, but this rivalry brings the utilization of the word closer to the cusp of appropriateness than any other.
Without delving too much into the issues, there is a definite disconnect between the city of Louisville and the state of Kentucky.
Though relatively insignificant in the eyes of the rest of the country, Kentuckians outside of Louisville view the Derby City the same way someone from upstate Vermont views New York City: prostitutes parading around the KFC Yum! Center, muggers behind the doors of every store in the local mall and gang-bangers residing in each and every high-rent neighborhood home.
Kentucky blogger Ken Howlett over at A Sea Of Blue didn't hesitate to throw more fuel on the fire. The top-seeded Wildcats have been the odds-on favorite to win the championship since the NCAA Tournament began. With all of Kentucky's NBA talent, Howlett says a loss to the Cardinals would be an unmitigated disaster.
Simply put, Louisville winning Saturday is a Kentucky fans' nightmare. As a matter of fact, I just got this in ... Webster's has issued a press release officially redefining "hell." It reads like this: Webster's Dictionary has redefined the word hell to mean the following -- The unmitigated horror any Kentucky Wildcat basketball fan must live through if UK loses to the University of Louisville in the 2012 Final Four.
So there you have it. It's official. Hell awaits if the 'Cats go down to the Cards.
There will be no shortage of passion on either side of the court come tip-off. Luckily, the rest of us can sit back and enjoy the spectacle on college basketball's biggest stage from afar.