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Louisville’s Ware Says Cards/Cats Rivalry With Kentucky Is “Just Another Game”

gfx - they said itLouisville’s Kevin Ware is already tired of the build-up to this year’s Kentucky/Louisville clash on December 28th.  The junior who broke his leg during last season’s NCAA Tournament says the guys on his team put no extra stock into the game:


“It gets old; it’s boring.  It’s just another game.  Nobody’s from here except a couple guys on the team.  We really don’t get into the whole UK-Louisville rivalry.  It’s just another game for us.  A lot of people take it to that further extent, all the UK and U of L bashing each other.  And even with a lot of stuff that they put on us this year, we really don’t care that Kentucky exists.  We just look at them as another school.”


What Ware says is true.  This year’s Kentucky/Louisville matchup isn’t going to be played between 10 natives of the Bluegrass State.  Hell, the Wildcats’ one-and-doners don’t even get the chance to build a hatred for the Cardinals.

With the way the two programs build their teams, it’s no wonder the rivalry means more to fans than it does to players.  The fans are from Kentucky and will likely still be in the Commonwealth a year from now.  The same can’t be said for the kids representing them on the hardwood.

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SEC Headlines 9/11/2013

headlines-wedSEC Football

1. Suspended Vanderbilt wide receiver Chris Boyd is due in court Friday.

2. In defense of Jadeveon Clowney: “To expect perfection every snap from a 20-year-old, no matter how athletically gifted, is to expect the unattainable.”

3. Between his time at LSU and Alabama, Nick Saban is 15-2 when facing a team a year after losing to them.

4. Jimbo Fisher, Will Muschamp and Derek Dooley were in the room when Kevin Sumlin interviewed for Nick Saban’s LSU staff back in 2002.

5. Matt Hayes on the “Johnny Cam” Saturday:  “And you people wonder why college athletes have an entitled attitude.”

6. Mark Bradley on Alabama-Texas A&M:  “I think Alabama wins in College Station without undue stress.”

7. Gene Stallings on the comparisons between AJ McCarron and Johnny Manziel: ”A good question would be if you could just have one of them, which one would you take? That’s not a question I’m going to answer.”

8. Big question for Alabama – will the Tide see better play from the offensive line?

9. Behind the obvious Aggies-Crimson Tide matchup – you know what the second-most bet game is  this weekend?  If you guessed Kentucky-Louisville, you’re right.

10. Kentucky-Louisville and the battle for…Ohio?

11. Former Georgia quarterback David Greene on Aaron Murray: “It’s unfair how guys get labeled, because, honestly, a quarterback’s play doesn’t always correlate to a win.”

12. Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall saw improvement in his play from Week 1 to Week 2:  ”Yeah I made some improvement, but there’s still room to get better.”

13. Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen struggled in second half last week.  Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney: Allen was“pressing a little bit.”

14. Debate question: Is LSU a SEC title contender?

15. Message to South Carolina fans following the loss to Georgia: “Don’t buy those Music City Bowl tickets just yet.”

16. South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier on two assistants caught on camera screaming at each other: “We hashed it out. They know we’re not going to have any more of that.”

17. Could Vanderbilt wide receiver Jordan Matthews be headed for a big weekend?  South Carolina’s secondary has some injury issues.

18. With Rajion Neal and Marlin Lane, Tennessee is establishing an effective tailback tandem.

19. Missouri coach Gary Pinkel wants his Tigers to play Kansas every year in Kansas City.

Practice/Injury Reports

20. Unclear if Auburn’s Dee Ford and Justin Garrett will be available for Mississippi State.

21. With Mississippi State starting guard Justin Malone out for the season with a broken foot, Ben Beckwith gets a chance to play on the Bulldogs offensive line.

22. South Carolina center Cody Waldrop ”very doubtful” to play Saturday – planning to see specialist about his sprained foot.

23. Texas A&M is focusing on tempo in practice as it prepares for Alabama.  ”We know it got on their nerves last year.”

24. Aggies safety Floyd Raven has a collar bone injury -won’t play Saturday.

25. Ole Miss wide receiver Vince Sanders has been out since camp started with a broken collarbone.  He may play against Texas.

26. Texas quarterback David Ash hasn’t been ruled for the Ole Miss game but he didn’t practice Tuesday.

27. How is Tennessee getting ready for Oregon? By listening to the Ducks fight song.

28. Georgia receiver Malcolm Mitchell had ACL surgery Tuesday - expected to apply for a medical redshirt.

29. After giving up 68 points and 921 yards in the first two games, Georgia gets an off-week to fine-tune its defense.

30. Missouri also gets a bye week to get healthy – linebacker Kentrell Brothers and cornerback E.J. Gaines banged up.

31. Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel not the only Gator hurt - “UF’s injury list is long and rather significant.” Most should be back for the Tennessee game.

SEC/College News

32. Booster T. Boone Pickens responds to Sports Illustrated’s investigation into the Oklahoma State program.

33. Coach Les Miles left Oklahoma State for LSU in 2004.  Former A.D. Skip Bertman: “We did an extensive background check on a personal basis…Nothing showed in terms of NCAA issues – nothing.”


34. Football on Yom Kippur: What’s a Bama Jew To Do?

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Louisville Whips Kentucky; Has Series Hurt The Cats?

The Cardinals ran over the Wildcats 32-14 as the defense let Joker Phillips’ team down.

Louisville was in sync as Kentucky just sinks.

Phillips: “You can’t give up 76 yards on four-plus drives.  You can’t do that, and we are better than that on defense.”

D-coordinator Rick Minter: “It’s demoralizing and unacceptable, especially when a team can do that running the ball.”  (UK gave up 219 rushing yards.)

Offensive coordinator Randy Sanders hopes QB Maxwell Smith “proved something to all the UK fans” with his excellent 35-0f-50 passing performance.

Has the Kentucky/Louisville rivalry helped or hurt the Cats?

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UK-Louisville Headlines – 3/30/12

It’s almost time for the big Kentucky-Louisville showdown in New Orleans.  We continue to give this monster game its own set of headlines…

1.  Everyone in Kentucky is taking sides for tomorrow’s Final Four matchup.

2.  This Cards-Cats game overshadows the rest of the weekend.

3.  The players don’t feel the off-court hate that UK and U of L fans do.

4.  John Calipari thinks it’s bad karma to root against a team.

5.  Here’s a Calipari/Rick Pitino history lesson as told by coaches, players and more.  Good stuff, ESPN.  Good stuff.

6.  For the uninitiated, the two coaches have a bit of an ongoing feud with one another.

7.  Louisville wants to create chaos with its defense.

8.  This year’s Kentucky team is different from Calipari’s previous squads.

9.  Anthony Davis’ knee is 90% healthy.  (He also won the AP’s Player of the Year Award today.)

10.  In the end, reality is not on Louisville’s side.

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UK-Louisville Headlines – 3/26/12

With Kentucky and Louisville shaping up as the biggest story at the Final Four, we thought we’d give that game its own set of headlines today.  Here goes…

1.  Kentucky-Louisville is a dream matchup for Bluegrass State residents.

2.  CBS’ Clark Kellogg says: “When you talk about Louisville and Kentucky playing, that goes to the stratosphere of intensity and history and tradition… This is way off the charts.”

3.  Get ready for a week’s worth of pregame build-up.

4.  While the media fuels up the hype machine, UK’s players will continue to enjoy the ride.

5.  The roles have reversed for John Calipari and Rick Pitino (who faced each other in the 1996 Final Four with Pitino at UK and Calipari at UMass).

6.  The Wildcats set up the matchup with a blowout win over Baylor…

7.  And big-game Michael Kidd-Gilchrist came up large again for UK.

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UK And Calipari To Meet Louisville And Pitino In Semis; How Great Would That Game Have Been In The Finals?

The NCAA Tournament — by its sheer design — creates wonderful storylines and incredible sideshows each and every season.  For three rounds, small schools most folks have never heard of take down a few giants.  Then over the last three rounds, the biggest fish swallow up the remaining guppies which leaves coaches to face their old schools, local rivals to meet, and feuding program-runners to do battle with one another.

Thanks to Louisville’s tight win over Florida on Saturday and Kentucky’s blowout victory over Baylor yesterday, all three of those things will occur in New Orleans at the Final Four:

Coach facing old school: Check.  Rick Pitino versus Kentucky.

Local rivals meeting:  Check.  Kentucky versus Louisville.

Feuding coaches doing battle:  Check.  John Calipari versus Pitino.

The only downside to this  Battle of the Bluegrass State?  It’s slated for the national semifinals and not the actual final game.  And let’s face facts, that would be an even bigger, even better storyline.

Kentucky’s run this season has been dominant.  Calipari is looking for his first ever national title.  What could be better for Cat fans than capturing their first national crown since 1998 against Louisville and ex-UK coach Pitino?

On the flipside, imagine the pain Kentucky fans would feel if their latest “best shot” at a title was undone by those same Cards and that same turncoat — in most Cat fans’ eyes — coach.

Even in a sport that gives us electric, emotional storylines every March, such a set-up would provide the potential for the greatest mood swing in modern sports history.  Toss in the fact that there’s little love lost between Coach Cal and Ricky P and the finals would shatter television ratings records across the Commonwealth.

Don’t get me wrong, Saturday’s matchup will still be a doozy and one bitter rival will send the other bitter rival packing.  Calipari or Pitino will still block the other’s pursuit of a title. 

Oh, but if that Kentucky-Louisville game were still a possibility for Monday’s championship game?  Bedlam.  Complete and utter bedlam.  Suicide hotlines would have to add extra staffing.  Police in Louisville and Lexington would have to unbox their riot gear in preparation. 

Saturday will be fantastic for basketball fans inside and outside Kentucky’s state lines.  But a clash in Monday’s finals would have been seismic.  If only those brackets could be redrawn today.

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