Battle of the Bluegrass



The two teams faced off at Rupp Arena on Nov. 29.

Ainsley Gordon, Website Editor

Rupp Arena was full of blue today in one of college basketball’s most heated rivalries. 

The University of Louisville’s Cardinals faced off against University of Kentucky’s Wildcats for the annual rival game.

A few months before this basketball game, the rival football game fell in the favor of the Cardinals. While they pulled out a win in the football game, the team fell short in the basketball game. Fans on both sides had strong feelings on the outcome of the basketball game.

On Nov. 24, the Louisville Cardinals held a strong lead in the rival football game against the Cats, ending the game with a score of 44-17.

The rivalry of 2017 continued on Dec. 29 where the two teams faced off at Rupp Arena. Kentucky was ranked 16 while Louisville was not ranked. It started out as a close game, but by halftime, the gap between the two scores started growing. The widest gap of the game occurred with around eight minutes left in the game. The score was at 76-44 Kentucky with a 32 point gap.

Kentucky won with a final score of 90-61 with a wide gap of 29 points. Out of all 51 official games played together only three games have had a wider gap than the 2017 game. In 1948, Kentucky held a 34 point gap over Louisville, ending the game with a score of 91-57. In 1986, Kentucky held another 34 point gap over the Cards scoring 85-51. Finally, in 1999, the Cats held a 30 point gap over Louisville with a score of 76-46.

After many allegations during the time of last basketball season, former coach Rick Pitino was fired. A new coach, David Padgett, was put in his place to which this was his first game against the Kentucky Wildcats as head coach. “Watching the game I knew it would be an uphill battle playing at UK with a first-year coach, Louisville had a lot of fight to start the game until about halfway through the first half. After a goaltend against UK was reversed, (which has) never been done before, and a barrage of fouls that shouldn’t have been called, Louisville lost its rhythm and seemed out of it and not as into the game… Honestly, it was a chippy game that seemed biased in a sense of officiating. But also coaching and missed opportunities hurt us even more,” said senior and Louisville fan, Jonathon Tegarden.

On the other side, many Kentucky fans were ecstatic about the game. “Since I’m a Kentucky fan, I love the result of the game. Hope this Kentucky team finally found their identity,” said sophomore Cameron Waddle.

The two teams will face off yet again in a year. “With the recruits, we’ve got coming in next year and the players we’ll have back, I’m expecting a great season. But with this rivalry game, it can go either way. But I hope it’s a part two of this year,” said Waddle. Out of a total of 51 basketball games, Kentucky has won 35 while Louisville has won 16.