March 28, 2014 — Who doesn’t love a good storyline in sports?
From the moment Kentucky defeated Wichita State in the third round of the NCAA Tournament, the bluegrass state went into frenzy at the notion of playing archrival Louisville tonight in Indianapolis.
These two hated in-state programs will once again meet with the season on the line and a trip to the Elite Eight.
Bloggers and fans of the Wildcats, much like in 2012 and during every regular season matchup, dub the week before the game “Louisville Hate Week.”
To me, it’s the greatest rivalry in all of college basketball because these two fan bases take the rivalry to the pinnacle of craziness. And while it’s good for college basketball, they sometimes take it too far.
To which lies the problem. These two teams have won the past two national championships. While the makeup of both title teams are completely different in tonight’s game, why can’t fans from this basketball-crazy state just appreciate the game?
Every Rick Pitino and John Calipari hater will make fun of and put down the other while watching the game on their television and every sports bar in Kentucky. Fans on opposite sides of the roundball aisle will shout and make fun of the red and blue team while they eat their wings and drink their cold beverages.
In a previous column, I aired my frustrations about the NCAA Tournament selection committee about placing in-state schools in early round matchups to create drama.
When the committee saw an opportunity to place the previous two seasons champions in the same bracket in hopes of a potential matchup, they did not second-guess their decisions.
Be careful what you wish for.
I’m going to predict that the game will be one of the highest rated in the tournament. Almost everyone in Kentucky (myself included) will watch these two programs battle on the hardwood.