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Who is this game “bigger” for?

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

One of the big questions leading up to Saturday is who this game is bigger for, Kentucky or Louisville. While the rivalry will always be big for the fans, the teams come into the matchup on two different sides of the spectrum in more ways than one. Kentucky is unranked, but has won the last four meetings, including the Final Four showdown in New Orleans. Louisville is ranked fourth in the nation, but hasn’t won since Billy Clyde and his coeds took over the pool at the Merrick Inn. I’m a fan of lists, so let’s take a look at what both sides have at stake on Saturday:


— A win over the Cards would catapult the Cats back into the Top 25
— It would also boost Kentucky’s resume and confidence heading into SEC play


— A win would snap UK’s four-game winning streak
— It would be Rick Pitino’s first win over Calipari since he came to UK; it would also be his fifth win over the Cats during his tenure at Louisville
— With more talent than he’s ever had at UofL and a home court advantage, it may be Rick’s best shot at beating Kentucky for the foreseeable future
— If they lose, the Cardinal fan base may spontaneously combust in anger (and Crown fumes).

The answer is clear: Saturday’s game is a much bigger deal for Louisville. The pressure is squarely on Rick Pitino’s withering shoulders. If he can’t beat Kentucky now, will he ever?

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

30 Comments for Who is this game “bigger” for?

  1. blueaville
    4:38 pm December 26, 2012 Permalink

    It would actually be his 5th win over UK while at UL rather than his 3rd. However it’s not gonna happen. Cats 77-66.

  2. Matt
    4:43 pm December 26, 2012 Permalink

    Would like to see a UK upset. But i don’t see the Cats being able to play in the halfcourt well enough to win. 68-61 UL.

  3. BigBlueBallz
    4:47 pm December 26, 2012 Permalink

    I like how when/if UL wins their fanbase will act like they own us. With that being said, much bigger for UL. We own the all time series (not close), have won 4 straight and are reigning national champions.

  4. Geography Teacher Says...
    4:59 pm December 26, 2012 Permalink

    Pretty sure we beat UL in New Orleans and not Catlanta.

  5. NotQuiteThere
    5:03 pm December 26, 2012 Permalink

    I expect a thorough beating from the dirty birds this year. Don’t think our horses have learned how to change leads.

  6. Snl1960
    5:12 pm December 26, 2012 Permalink

    Will this weight on Ricky P’s mind that would make him retire if he LOOSES. Do not think he will even last 15 seconds again if he looses

  7. robbieh
    5:12 pm December 26, 2012 Permalink

    I think the cats will be ok either way but we own them 45-14 right now and by the end of feb. Coach Cal will have this young team ready.

  8. Matt
    5:13 pm December 26, 2012 Permalink

    Oh please, this game is huge for UK. This game ain’t for the birds, it’s for us. We need to win it.

  9. Badams
    5:14 pm December 26, 2012 Permalink

    If our defense was better I’d say we would have a chance, but it’s just not there right now. And if we miss easy shots like we have been, it’s goin to be bad. If Archie and Alex can come to play we have a chance, if not, could be a long game. I agree though, this is the best chance Pitino will ever have at beatin Cal at UK.

  10. Good Grief
    5:24 pm December 26, 2012 Permalink

    This is a must win for UL and they will.

  11. BigBrother
    5:26 pm December 26, 2012 Permalink

    This game is big for both programs but anybody with half a brain can see that it’s much bigger for UL. UK has won 4 straight, UK is the defending National Champs and there isn’t a player on UL’s roster that has beaten UK. Pitino needs this game but more importantly Pitino NEEDS a National Championship. He was brought to UL to win championships and he has not delivered yet and he’s in his 12th season. The Cards haven’t tasted a championship since 1986 and they are desperate for title especially considering we won it all last year and have won 3 titles since their last title. When you really stop and think about it, it kinda sucks to be them LOL. Those poor little brothers.

  12. Rixter
    5:26 pm December 26, 2012 Permalink

    It’s ridiculous that you’d even ask this question. Cal and Uk have won 4 straight over Pitino, Cal has the same number of final fours in 3 years at UK that Pitino has in 11 years on Floyd Street, and one more National Championship in 3 years than Ricky has in 11. It’s now ALWAYS going to be a more crucial win for You-uh-vel

  13. rixter
    5:50 pm December 26, 2012 Permalink

    PS: Coach Cal, please wash your hands.

  14. mudcreekmark
    5:59 pm December 26, 2012 Permalink

    More important for UofL for all reasons listed above. However, Louisville will not make it as far this year as last. I can see them even loosing in the first weekend. It seems as though they play better in the tourny in the years they aren’t expected to do much and don’t do much when they are expected too.

  15. bluebloodtoo
    6:02 pm December 26, 2012 Permalink

    Did anyone else notice that neither Calipari or Pitino is even attempting to make eye contact in with that handshake?

  16. Pretty lame
    6:02 pm December 26, 2012 Permalink

    Boo. I think it’s pathetic when you try to create the environment for some kind of upset by trying imply pressure exists. Didn’t we see this tactic last april in a Bill Self pre-game show? Fact is the pressure exists for Lousiville because…. IT’S THEIR GAME TO LOSE!!!! THEY ARE BETTER!!!

  17. UKBlue
    6:17 pm December 26, 2012 Permalink

    UL fans just constantly show their stupidity; just because you beat UK once ever 5 years doesn’t mean you matter. Even though Jurich made the mistake of extending Rick contract & making stupid UL fans pay Rick a bunch of money even thought Rick said he won’t coach through the entire contract, Rick has to win this game. This year is Rick last hurrah; as long & as hard as it is for Rick to build & keep a team together, this year it. UL got lucky at the end of last year, if UL is ever going to do it, this is their last year to make a legitimate run.

  18. Lil c
    6:23 pm December 26, 2012 Permalink

    This game means bragging rights for a year! Any UK fan that lives and works in Louisville with a bunch of douche bag UL fans ( like I do) will tell you…. This game means a lot to BBN!!! Especially to the fans!!!!!!

  19. Billy
    6:45 pm December 26, 2012 Permalink

    The game is absolutely bigger for LOSERVILLE. They havent beat us in 4 years and soon to be 5. Plus the BigLEAST is so soft they will not have another quality team to prove against before March. Im not sure that the BigLEAST is any better than the Sun Belt

  20. BlueBroJoe
    7:04 pm December 26, 2012 Permalink

    This game is clearly bigger for the Wildcats. Perhaps it is more important for Pitino’s future career than Cal’s but in the context of this year’s squads its a no contest. We have yet to nail down a signature win that will signal that our team can reach its potential cohesively and we happen to be at a low point in terms of our conference strength (even growing comparisons to the derelict pac-12). As for Loserville, they still have many marquee games to play in for a chance to get big W’s. I can not remember the last time not being in the top 25 and taking a loss to a rival we haven’t loss to in 4 years would just magnify the question marks surrounding this team. Therefore, this game is much more important and generates much more pressure on us. I look forward to seeing how our team responds as I know they will rise up Saturday and show us that they can be who we think they can be.

  21. Stevie
    7:08 pm December 26, 2012 Permalink

    #!, what are you talking about? He said that it would be his fifth win over Uk while at UL.

  22. JohnnyRed
    7:11 pm December 26, 2012 Permalink

    18) You are correct. UofL does not matter. Not a single bit. The weird thing is that there is rarely a thread on this blog that does not include some reference to the “tards” or the “dirty birds” or “loserville” in its comments from the likes of you. So if UofL does not matter, then why get your panties in a wad?

  23. Snl1960
    7:12 pm December 26, 2012 Permalink

    Caption this pic…… Cal looks like a ventriloquist making little Ricky speak gibberish

  24. Pretty Lame
    7:16 pm December 26, 2012 Permalink

    #18, you do realize that the “Who” in the Title line meant nothing to do with individual fans, right? You KNEW that it was referring to the programs, right? The actual competing players and coaches, and the fortunes for the programs, right? (Psst…This is the part where you get mad, act like you did know that, and say that everyone misintepreted your response 😉

  25. blueaville
    7:23 pm December 26, 2012 Permalink

    22 it said 3rd before it was corrected

    77-66 Cats and it won’t be that close

  26. Billy
    7:50 pm December 26, 2012 Permalink

    When is the last time LOSERVILLE did anything in athletics. The Sugar Bowl will always have a asterisk beside it because they did not play anyone, heck UK would have gone 11-1 with that schedule. Last year LOSERVILLE went to the final 4 but got completely blown out the first time they played a good team (us). I think we should name LOSERVILLE asterisk U because thats what they will always be to us!

  27. Matt
    8:01 pm December 26, 2012 Permalink

    If UofL is little brother, isn’t the game ALWAYS bigger for them?

  28. Sean
    8:39 am December 27, 2012 Permalink

    It seems like every couple of years people make comments like “if they don’t win this year, they never will.” Seemed like that was heard a lot during Louisville’s TWill / Earl Clark days. That was a talented team.

    Things change all the time and saying any year is a make or break just shows shortsightedness. Do I think louisville will win? Yes. Is it a guarantee? No. Who is it more important to? Depends on who you’re talking about. The team in general? More important to UK. Mainly due to the semi-soft schedule they have from here out compared to Louisville. The fans? Louisville definitely.

  29. Bledsoe's Biceps
    9:14 am December 27, 2012 Permalink

    I know it is contrary to the UL/Pitino bashing mind set, but I think this year’s game is much bigger for UK. It doesn’t matter what happened last year or over the past X years. That’s only for fans and bragging rights. This game is important for what it can do for the 2012-13 UK team. UK needs a quality win to start improving their ranking, RPI and seeding for the tournament.