Matt Norlander of CBSSports.com wrote a great article about the UK vs UL game, in which he notes that tonight’s game symbolized a lot of what has defined this rivalry. It is a must read. An excerpt:
If you could embody, mold, depict the history and identity of the programs’ century-long clash and put them into one basketball game, you’d get Kentucky 69, Louisville 61. The game was workmanlike, never too flashy, nary a grudge on the floor and always Kentucky’s to decide. In finality, it was simply how it’s been more times than not in 45 meetings on the court and countless recruiting battles off it: Wildcats win, Cardinals lose. The biggest game in the history of basketball’s nastiest bout never got boring; it remained predictably emphatic. This was Kentucky’s night.
The patterns of Wildcat win/Louisville loss mimic the grooves in the ever-curling arc of the two teams’ tete-a-tete. Louisville trailed early, chased back. Then it reeled closer once more, late in the first half. A few times in the second half the game got close — even tied — before Kentucky pulled away again, showing it had the superior team, the latest and loudest reminder it has the superior program. Tonight and for a hundred years before this, Louisville: always there, never far behind, but never threatening to usurp UK. A game ended tonight; an intra-state college basketball narrative continued without interruption.