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Calipari vs. Pitino: The Last Five


John Calipari and Rick Pitino are 12-12 in head-to-head meetings over their basketball coaching careers. Tomorrow’s game in Rupp Arena is the tiebreaker, the rubber match, and we all know how much Rick hates rubbers.

One man will emerge victorious to claim the lead in the series, with hopes of never looking back. Will that man be Calipari, who has won four of their last five meetings since moving to Lexington? Or will it be Rick, who won four of their first five meetings while coaching in Lexington?

Here’s a look at how things have gone since the Calipari/Pitino showdown became the Commonwealth’s rivalry in 2010, Cal’s first season at Kentucky.


(3) Kentucky 71, Louisville 62
January 2, 2010
Rupp Arena

With three technical fouls handed out in the opening minute and two more later in the game, the January 2010 battle may be the most vicious in the series’ history — and that’s saying something. Officials threw out warnings just seconds into the game after Eric Bledsoe and Reginald Delk exchanged words after a foul. Moments later, DeMarcus Cousins hit Jared Swopshire with the forearm heard ’round the Bluegrass.

The forearm wasn’t the only blow DeMarcus delivered to the Cards that day, he also had a game-high 18 points and 18 rebounds in Kentucky’s 71-62 win. Patrick Patterson and John Wall added 17 points apiece.


(11) Kentucky 78, (22) Louisville 63
December 31, 2010
KFC Yum! Center

Now known as Josh Harrellson’s coming out party, the second meeting in the modern day Calipari-Pitino rivlary was an unexpected rout in favor of the Wildcats. Jorts scored 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting and grabbed 14 rebounds in UK’s first appearance in the KFC Yum! Center, a game many Kentucky fans expected to lose. With a game-high 25 points from Brandon Knight, the Cats rolled to a 15-point victory.


(3) Kentucky 69, (4) Louisville 62
December 31, 2011
Rupp Arena

The first of two meetings in the 2011-12 season, Kentucky won a foul-happy game in Rupp Arena, powered by an enormous outing by Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. MKG scored 24 points and grabbed 19 rebounds, ahead of Anthony Davis’ 18 and 10 double-double, as UK out-rebounded Louisville by 20 and won the game by seven. It would’ve been a double-digit victory if not for Russ Smith’s meaningless hot hand in the final minute.

Jay Z was in the building, too.


(1) Kentucky 69, (17) Louisville 61
March 31, 2012
Mercedez-Benz Superdome, FINAL FOUR

It was the second coming of the “Dream Game” when Kentucky and Louisville met in the 2012 Final Four in New Orleans. And just as it did exactly three months earlier, Kentucky defeated Louisville, by an eerily similar score, 69-61.

Anthony Davis was the game’s MVP with 18 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks. He pointed down at the court as the final buzzer sounded and screamed twice, “This is my stage!”

Watch the full game below. What else do you have to do this afternoon?


(4) Louisville 80, Kentucky 77
December 29, 2012
KFC Yum! Center

Entering the game with an 0-4 record against his former team since John Calipari took over, Rick Pitino was desperate for a win in 2012 and it took home court advantage, the eventual national champion, and one of the two worst teams in John Calipari’s career to do it. Even with all of that going for him, Rick’s Louisville Cardinals still only managed to win by three points after leading by as many as 17 during the second half.


(18) Kentucky __ , (6) Louisville ___
December 28, 2013
Rupp Arena


Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

17 Comments for Calipari vs. Pitino: The Last Five

  1. Brian
    1:15 pm December 27, 2013 Permalink

    Drew, the first paragraph of this post….the single funniest thing ever on this site. I don’t know how one delivers something thru text but my friend, you did. Perfect delivery. And let’s face it…rubbers is a funny word anyway.

  2. the ghost of Bill Hicks
    1:16 pm December 27, 2013 Permalink

    I thought the 2010 game was gonna end in a bloodbath…..what a game.

    I actually had a nightmare last night that UL won the game by 50. I hate dreams like that.

  3. BBN Dave Grohl
    1:30 pm December 27, 2013 Permalink

    Kentucky 79, Louisville 73 tomorrow

  4. Bob Sugar
    1:50 pm December 27, 2013 Permalink

    Cousins was kicked first and foremost

  5. Biggens Spread
    1:51 pm December 27, 2013 Permalink

    What is the John Short “Biggens Spread” for the game?

    • BBN Dave Grohl
      3:00 pm December 27, 2013 Permalink


  6. Biff Switters
    1:52 pm December 27, 2013 Permalink

    That elbow from Boogie was cheap, but I love how it sent a message that the 09′-10’edition was not a group to be trifled. I’d be all for a similar, but less cheap, shot across their bow this time around. I’m not sure we have anyone with that type of intensity on this team though.

  7. Bob Sugar
    1:55 pm December 27, 2013 Permalink

    Cousins shot was deliberate and a reaction to a p**** kick. Nothing char about it. You don’t tug on superman’s cape and call it cheap when he reacts.

    • Robert
      2:21 pm December 27, 2013 Permalink

      I disagree, Bob.

  8. bung
    2:10 pm December 27, 2013 Permalink

    Big Cuz is awesome…

  9. Hair Plugs Don't Work
    2:12 pm December 27, 2013 Permalink

    Several hair plugs later, Ricky still has that bald “APES A$$” patch in the back of his head!

  10. el hombre juan
    2:26 pm December 27, 2013 Permalink

    Quick franklin boy, to the comment delete cave!

  11. RICK
    2:41 pm December 27, 2013 Permalink

    From the look of ole Rick, i think that was him that ran down his leg and whats left is coaching the team now.

  12. UKwildcat_fanatic
    2:58 pm December 27, 2013 Permalink

    Not a good sign when the higher ranking team has won the last five. Lets hope that trend ends tomorrow! Go CATS!

  13. Lil c
    3:12 pm December 27, 2013 Permalink

    Quick story….

    About 3 yrs ago I was at the St. Matthews mall riding around trying to find a parking spot. I look up and see Swopshire entering the mall through the Victoria Secret store. I hurried up and rolled my window down and yelled, “so THAT’S where you buy your panties!?” Then I yelled “GO CATS!!”

    Maybe not my most thought out insults to yell, but hey….. Anything to aggravate those stupid Tards!!!!

    GO CATS!!!!!!

  14. yo
    3:13 pm December 27, 2013 Permalink

    this story has already been up drew funk

  15. Corey
    11:42 am December 28, 2013 Permalink

    This has to be the weirdest mood I have ever felt for the UK vs UL game. I have had no worry about this game until today. Today, I’m getting really anxious. We need this win.