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Matt Norlander Says This Game Symbolized the Series


Matt Norlander of 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.

Article written by Matt Jones

46 Comments for Matt Norlander Says This Game Symbolized the Series

  1. uk9698
    11:49 pm March 31, 2012 Permalink

    I will have to change my name after this GO CATS !!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. uk9698
    11:49 pm March 31, 2012 Permalink

    OH 1ST AND 2ND

  3. eric
    11:51 pm March 31, 2012 Permalink

    delete the stuart hammer couch burning post….bad vibe!!!

  4. Mkgistebow
    11:52 pm March 31, 2012 Permalink

    Calm down norlander, there was a distinct period in the 80s where Louisville took the lead. Go cats!

  5. Another Perspective
    11:52 pm March 31, 2012 Permalink

    Nice ending there.

  6. PassionoftheGilchrist
    11:53 pm March 31, 2012 Permalink

    Epic tournament storylines continue..Cal can avenge 2008 loss to Kansas/Self while Davis/Robinson finish what little debate remains on POY race.

  7. 8 seconds in Blue
    11:58 pm March 31, 2012 Permalink

    we cats are in heaven

  8. BigBlueSkyDog
    12:01 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    From Norlander’s article: “”I marvel at what John does — I couldn’t do it,” he said of the one-and-done culture at Kentucky. “I can’t say hello and goodbye in seven months.” He can live with this, though.”

    That’s what Pitino and the other critics of one and done never understand. We don’t say goodbye to these players after seven months. We keep up with their pro careers and they come back to Lexington often. You don’t think John Wall and Boogie were pulling for this team all year long? Those guys are part of La Familia forever regardless of what we do from here on. And the same with the current players.

  9. wall2cousins
    12:02 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    taking the night off Matt? just copy and paste someone else’s story…BRILLIANT

  10. bigredbleedsblue
    12:02 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    I really want to forgive Pitino, but those “racist” remarks he made about UK earlier in the week remind me of the jerk he really is. Norlander’s article is a good read, but I don’t see why a coach, like Pitino gets a pass when he makes suck blatantly ignorant statements. Oh well, Go Big Blue!!!

  11. Big V
    12:02 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    I think Pitino did a good job this year. Beside the 1987 providence team and the 91 Kentucky team (while we were still on probation) this was one of Pitinos best coaching jobs. If you would have told me the dirty cards wouldn have won the Big East and made the final four at Christmas I would have laughed at you. We had them out manned at every position and they gave us all we wanted.

  12. Syrin
    12:05 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    UK beats Kansas by 17.

  13. BigBlueSkyDog
    12:07 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    4) Not really. In the eighties, UK was 5-4 versus UL. UL won more national championships and went to more Final Fours but still come up short in head to head matchups.

  14. Box score
    12:11 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    Anyone know how many charges were called tonight? 14 turnovers…we’re half BS charges?

  15. Mkgistebow
    12:12 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    I said a period, not the whole decade. Uk is top 1 or 2 program all time depending on criteria while cards are 6-9. Uk rules but lets acknowledge that Louisville has still had their moments. I’m a rare uk fan that still loves pitino because of what he did for us. I respect the hell out of that man.

  16. Mike
    12:14 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    12. We might just do that especially if TJ shows to play the whole game.

  17. UKBlue
    12:31 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    UK own the ghetto commuter school once again. And Cal owns Ricky 3 Stacks. The tards will always be UK’s bitch.

  18. STEVE!
    12:34 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    11 – The Cards were a Pre-season Top 10 team, and they were ranked #4 when we played them New Years Eve. Pitino coached a #4 team into 10 losses and a 4 Seed. Based on Pre-season predictins and ealry performances, the Cards should have been in the Final Four.

  19. Nerlins
    12:36 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    I loved meeting all the UK fans on Bourbon St tonight

  20. ToddSvoboda'sWarmUp
    12:43 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    seeing AD’s performance on a national stage has GOT to make the Flat Top Feller lean our way if he wasn’t already

  21. gcat4496
    12:46 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    #14. Thinking the same thing. We are getting hosed on these bogus charging calls. They flop and cut sideways into our players as we drive to the basket and every time its a charge instead of a block. UL got away with a lot of pushing in the back on the rebounds. How else do you think they got 30 offensive rebounds against a superior front line. Watch the replays on some of the UL rebounds and you will see our players getting pushed off the court. No fouls being called on that. Very Strange. But even with the ref help, our awful foul shooting and sloppy ball handling, we still won by 8 points against a final 4 teams not bad.

  22. Why do they play so late
    12:56 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    Did Bobby Knight fall asleep on live television?
    Check it out on

  23. wickedgood
    1:07 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    we all need to pray tonight the 4 officials left for monday r 1. verne harriss , mike stuart , mark whitehead, and roger ayers . pray for harriss for sure always been fair to ky , the other 3 especially ayers have been anti uk everyone knows coach cal gets very few technicals AYERS HAS GOTTEN HIM THE LAST 2 TIMES WE HAVE HAD HIM the sad part he only does 1 uk game a year . so it could be very bad , whitehead is our next best choice he has been all right not great to us,. mike stuart called both baylors flop charges in the elite 8 at the top of the key and the 2 questionable slide under charges on gilchrist in the baylor game . everyone please pray for verne harriss or we r in real rough waters i believe . watch the baylor game and u will see the white ref[ stuart ]make these calls

  24. MKG
    1:10 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    can we the post game inteviews? and does anyone know where to find the game online to watch again?

  25. WFMAH
    1:24 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    #21 I agree that our guys got shoved around, but I think they, particularly MKG, were very cautious to not get fouls called on themselves. For some reason, the NCAA officials hate MKG. Unless the defenders knock MKG down onto his back, he never gets a call.

  26. catfan68
    1:36 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    I was just reading on the card chronicle…they are all convinced they will win the national championship next year….best coaching job ever…all star team next year…Pitino now the best coach ever (just a month ago, they all wanted him gone)…going to “steam roll” UK next year blah blah blah…what everyone needs to remember is that UL was a preseason top 5 team, expected to go to the final four and Pitino managed to coach them out of the top 25 and to double figure losses…We’ll see about next year.

  27. Cawood2Cal
    1:50 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    Seeing how jittery and turnover prone Kansas is I’d like to see us get out a bit more in the passing lanes early. T. Robinson will score some points for them – but he won’t get the shots like he got tonight against AD.

  28. Bluebanana
    1:54 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    Cats will ride over Kansas!

  29. Richard
    2:11 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    Is Elijah Johnson from Kansas gay? He sounds like it.

  30. h8'ers gonna h8
    3:08 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    i will give pitino and his players credit. pitino obviously said something to cal that he meant and that cal appreciated because cal looked at him and said a genuine “thank you”. players were very respectful and i thought it was a nice sight at the end of the game. all the players were surprisingly friendly so much so that i said something and my gf said “yea, because they all just played their hearts out”. good scene. with that said, where da trolls at?!?!?!?!?! bunch of dbags.

  31. Ridge Runner
    3:53 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    Can’t sleep… We are heading to the championship game and I am stoked!

  32. FDAULS
    4:31 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    It’s a blog/OP-ED. That’s okay, though… I’ll do like Matt Jones and present it like it’s a real CBS Sports article.

  33. you guys are a bunch of negative ass dicks…

    UK is heading for the Nat’l Champ Game and all you can do is bitch and whine like little whores. lol F*ckin’ C0cks!!!

  34. Chane Behanan
    6:48 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    Where’s my cake?

  35. Chane Behanan
    6:52 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    26) Glad to see the UL fans are so confident. They may win next year in the Yuk center and remain on the fringes of relevance but they still won’t make it up to Kentucky’s level. If we get Noel, which is likely, and Shabazz, which is looking good, then we will be right back where we left off.

  36. LexDoc
    7:20 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    Didn’t watch the postgame but here is an awesome article on the maturity of TJ:

  37. Beavis
    8:01 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    Just about as poor a production of both semi-final games as you could imagine. It is obvious that from watching both games,,,,charge calls are in,,,blocking calls are out. Does anyone remember a blocking call in either game ? And how about moving screens ? Don’t remember one of those being called and some were very obvious. Damn guys,,,call what you see.

    Who had final say on the announcers for the game ? If you closed your eyes you would swear that was Digger and Knight calling the game. And by the way,,,that was Louisville playing,,not Syracuse. Total crap. Thank god the players bailed them out and played two nice games. GO CATS

  38. Dennis
    8:24 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    #37 I also heard the Syracuse remark. Has to be the hand me down uniforms the turds were wearing since they are orange. Good grief loserville get rid of those awful rags.
    Speaking of which were the Ohio St. uniforms generic or what even the cheerleaders.

  39. Kim
    8:39 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    This is what I know. Pitino is 4-8 versus Kentucky, including losing the last 4 (to Calipari). Who’s your daddy?

  40. Mike
    8:58 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    This game put the “Kentucky Effect” in full view for the world! The Kentucky Effect makes opponents play better than their best. While the Louisville Effect makes teams play worse than their normal game. Thankfully, the Cats have so many weapons the Louisville Effect was only a distraction on the way to Number 8!

  41. TXWildcat97
    9:03 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    Louisville First….out of the Final Four

  42. Clark
    9:27 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    Even when Siva tied it with the three pointer, I knew Syracuse was going down.

  43. Randy Mac
    10:52 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    Would Auburn’s coach publicly cheer for Alabama, would Ohio State cheer for Michigan, would IU cheer for Purdue, would Duke cheer for North Carolina, heck no. So why is Pitino publicly cheering for UK? He’s a UK fan and he needs to go back to Lexington KY and take his son with him. I will not send my beloved U of L any more money until they get rid of him!

  44. Beavis
    11:32 am April 1, 2012 Permalink

    Whoa,,,Randy,,,you assume we would want him back. The people in Lexington got tired of Pitino and his damn wife,,,,there were a lot of people that were glad to see him leave. Never knew if we would have a coach or not,,,constant rumors about him taking a job somewhere else. Nope,,,we will stick with the coach we have.

    I can’t believe it,,,,no glowing remarks from that bag of crap,,,Bill Plaschke.

  45. Thanks
    1:40 pm April 1, 2012 Permalink

    Wow! Great article. I’m so pumped I’m gonna go burn something!! Woohoo!