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Burning Questions: Who is the best team in Kentuckiana?

For the triangular area mapped above, this could be one of the most exciting basketball seasons in a long time. Being the best in this area for the 2012-2013 season doesn’t just mean bragging rights between Bloomington, Louisville, and Lexington… it means you are the best team in the nation. All three of these teams can make a legitimate argument for that top spot, which is why the rivalries between these three teams are going to be most intense it has been in a long time. NBC Sports’ Rob Dauster and a crew of the most gifted college basketball analysts of all-time, sat down to debate which team is the best in the triangle. Each person in the crew took a side and made their case:


Neither Louisville nor Indiana are complete teams. The Cardinals were downright bad on the offensive end of the floor for much of last season and lost their two most efficient scorers to graduation. Indiana struggled on the defensive end of the floor, and many of those same issues look like they could end up arising for the Hoosiers again this season. Kentucky certainly isn’t a complete team right now, either, but they are more of a clean slate. John Calipari will have a ton of talent to mold and blend and turn into a title contender. If Alex Poythress and Archie Goodwin can develop into 15 ppg scorers and the trio of Nerlens Noel, Willie Cauley-Stein and Kyle Wiltjer can find a way to effectively rotate through in the front court, Kentucky has as much raw talent as any team in Kentuckiana.


As a lifelong resident of the area, these three teams have consumed my life since birth. Since I moved away, there’s still no way I can escape them, and I don’t want to. Not with this year being the greatest year for basketball in the Bluegrass and the Heartland. Indiana brings back a the National Player of the Year Candidate in Cody Zeller and a cast of role players. Louisville’s defense is some of the best in the nation and they rode it to the Final Four last season. Kentucky, well, Kentucky has John Calipari, who is the nation’s best recruiter and has developed into a solid X’s and O’s coach. This year should put all three in the Final Four.

Little Bro Louisville:

I’ll take the Cardinals due to their interior depth. Gorgui Dieng, Chane Behanan, Montrezl Harrell and more. On the perimeter while it remains to be seen how much Peyton Siva’s improved his jump shot, the addition of Luke Hancock should not be overlooked. He’ll be another facilitator that Rick Pitino can call on, and will help counteract the occasional craziness that comes with Russ Smith. Add in a healthy Kevin Ware and Wayne Blackshear and Louisville has an embarrassment of riches at every position.

Too bad Indiana and Louisville can’t try for revenge on last year’s team. They had a busy off-season of getting drafted to the NBA. Kentucky brings a new crop of talented players to face these bums, and it’s going to be even more fun to beat them this time around.

Article written by Rashawn Franklin

25 Comments for Burning Questions: Who is the best team in Kentuckiana?

  1. Joe
    6:12 pm November 7, 2012 Permalink

    Ha, ha, ha. At the Vandy-UK fooball game, the attendance was reported at 42,000. But WLEX-TV did an open records request for the actual number of tickets scanned and it was only 18,085. Ha, Ha, Ha – lying sack of crap Mitch Barnhart.

    The fans have spoken and you had to fire your best friend. Take that!

  2. tdogg40330
    6:12 pm November 7, 2012 Permalink

    UL is average at every position, OVERRATED !!! They’ll be ranked high all season
    just because of the cupcake schedule they play ….

  3. Coach Sweetland
    6:23 pm November 7, 2012 Permalink

    Please stop using that logo, that is NOT our logo!!! It WAS the worst logo in school history.
    We’ve moved on.

  4. Swamp Jankins
    6:25 pm November 7, 2012 Permalink

    I hate the term “Kentuckiana”…I don’t want to be that closely associated with any Hoosier.

  5. rainman
    6:26 pm November 7, 2012 Permalink

    Lady Cats!!

  6. Yo
    6:32 pm November 7, 2012 Permalink

    @3 – at least it wasn’t the vulgar version. Remember that? lol

  7. rainman
    6:40 pm November 7, 2012 Permalink

    One thing about it #1, they didnt’ give the tickets away
    at Kroger!!

  8. Dear UL and IU fans, We are national champions; you are not. The end.
    6:41 pm November 7, 2012 Permalink

    Is the telethon going to be televised on directv?

  9. Who Cares
    6:41 pm November 7, 2012 Permalink

    That’s why they play the games. No point in pre-season nonsense.

  10. Mike
    6:44 pm November 7, 2012 Permalink

    1 – it was 42k, that’s how many tickets were sold. They’ve always gone by ticket sales, not click throughs at the gate. Just means a LOT of season ticket holders didn’t show up. And why was an open records request made, they announced 19k click through the day of the game.

  11. I Am Spartacus
    6:51 pm November 7, 2012 Permalink

    The Bermuda Triangle has nothing on the havoc the Wildcats will wreak in this zone!

  12. Joe
    6:55 pm November 7, 2012 Permalink

    10 – it was estimated 19,000 by the media. UK said they don’t release actual ticket scans. WLEX-TV only got the info through an open records request. Just goes to show you that attendance is not actual attendance, but includes all tickets, including ones given away for free. But they couldn’t even hide behind that Saturday, because no one believed there were 42,000 there. Why not announce actual attendance? Because it would be embarassing. This means there was actually more fans at the UK basketball exhibition on Monday than at the football game. Ouch!

  13. Cayuts8
    6:58 pm November 7, 2012 Permalink

    2). then we beat an average team in the final four by a slim margin and lost to a worse team in the championship? give credit where credit is due, they are better than average thats why they are voted #2?

  14. sifromduckdynasty
    7:12 pm November 7, 2012 Permalink

    Gorgui Dieng vs Willie Cauley-Stein? Alex Poythress vs Chane Behanan? Peyton Siva vs Ryan Harrow? This game in December will be the game of the year. Difference between this year and last years UK team. We have depth and more weapons. Not complete team yet, but the key word is yet.. Cats always bring in this game and its gonna be a blood bath but I got faith in CATS! BBN!

  15. GrumpyOldDude
    7:16 pm November 7, 2012 Permalink

    4 – I agree, that term is offensive……plus, why would this discussion not include other teams within 2-3 hours drive like XU, UC, OSU….living in NKY, we have fans from every school.

  16. Beavis
    7:18 pm November 7, 2012 Permalink

    U of L games will be ugly,,,,they have trouble on the O side so they turn the games into hack-a-thons. They have to play that way to have a chance at winning. Just ugly basketball. They won’t be rated in the top five very long.

  17. Duke Sucks
    7:41 pm November 7, 2012 Permalink

    On Nov.7 more then likely IU. Bye march Uk. UL is vastly overrated. If you can’t score you can’t win.

  18. Blue_Cat75
    8:11 pm November 7, 2012 Permalink

    I’m watching Bellarmine/UL now and UL is being outrebounded. They do not look like the athletes that UK has. UK>IU>LadyCats>UL.

  19. Flip
    8:21 pm November 7, 2012 Permalink

    Where is this mythical state you call Kentuckiana? Is it somewhere between Kentucky and Indiana?

  20. tdogg40330
    8:47 pm November 7, 2012 Permalink

    13) we lost in the championship last year?? well hell ….

  21. rixter
    8:52 pm November 7, 2012 Permalink

    Louisville is 0 – 17 from behind the arc tonight. Think they’ll see any zone this year?

  22. Lush
    9:05 pm November 7, 2012 Permalink

    I hate that phrase. Kentucky is in Kentucky and that is it. I wish we could reroute the river and move ul out of the state too

  23. WePayAllTheTaxesToFeedYOU
    7:29 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    #22 Oh were it possible!! Nothing would please us in The ‘Ville more that to see starving HillJacks begging in BugTussle!!
    Better put them wheels back on your shack,you will want to move ASAP if it ever happens!!!

  24. Beavis
    8:16 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    # 23,,,,Like Louisville is the garden spot of the world.

  25. RealFan
    8:28 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    Too bad we’re not playing Indiana… could have been a perfect season schedule. They messed this one up, let selfish pride get in the way and its hard to forgive.