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The Kernel asked the student body presidents at UK and Louisville to square off on the Final Four. Here are there responses.
By Micah Fielden
Seventy-five miles, 33 All-Americans and 5 NCAA National Championship titles are some of a few differences between the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville’s basketball teams.
However, this weekend UK will show that it rightfully owns the title of the state’s premier basketball program.
With five starting players who will be first round NBA draft picks within the next two years, there is no doubt in my mind that the Kentucky men’s basketball team will be playing for our eighth NCAA Tournament Championship come Monday night. But there are more reasons than that.
Some would point to this season’s loss to Indiana after a last second ‘Leattner-esque’ shot as the fuel that drove our Cats to beat them in the Sweet 16, but I believe the truth is that the Wildcats have become a much more mature team since that game.
After a full season of coaching by Calipari we have seen Marquis Teague transition into the team leader we need him to become, Terrence Jones break out of his slump and become one of the most dominant forwards in the nation and Darius Miller has become the best sixth man in the country, gluing our team together.
If we look to the last time the Red and Blue met it was not a pretty sight.
Our Wildcats shot merely 29.8 percent from the field and 18.8 percemt from the 3 point line with 21 turnovers and still managed to win by seven. This game doesn’t factor the momentum either team has had in recent days but it is a huge indicator of our ability to bring home the “W” even when we aren’t playing up to our true potential.
Finally, this year’s tournament will be played on a “Neutral” court in New Orleans.
The University of Kentucky has the single best following in college basketball and I can guarantee come game time on Saturday night in New Orleans there will be a sea of blue.
Because of such a great following, UK’s fanbase has made playing the Wildcats on a ‘neutral’ court as close to playing in Rupp Arena as possible.
I will concede, in November’s election season Kentucky could very well go red, but in March our commonwealth has and always will Bleed Blue.
For Cardinal’s fans, we are glad you have made it this far and done wonderful things to put our rivalry on televisions across the nation but be prepared to ‘Brow Down.’
‘Yep, I’m crazy’
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say the University of Louisville is going to beat the University of Kentucky come this Saturday.
I know, I know… you’re thinking that just because I’m the U of L SGA president that I’m siding with the home team (which is on all accounts, correct), but hear me out.
The University of Kentucky has done a tremendous job this year. You have unreal talent and are playing NBA ball as a college team.
Your march through the season toward the Final Four was one that was expected – and that is where your fault lies. We’re not supposed to be here — we were written off, smitten, kicked to the curb like yesterday’s old news.
Your fans, who once worshiped Coach Pitino, were saying he was washed up, overrated and that Louisville should divorce from him and move on; heck, many of our own fans were losing faith.
Then the improbable happened: we went into the Big East tournament and won the whole shebang. All of the sudden, campus was filled with excitement and hope.
Then came Selection Sunday and the near impossible tournament run.
First they said that No. 13 Davidson was going to surprise Louisville, a No. 4 seed.
Logic: last year Louisville was a No. 4 and lost to No. 13 Morehead State. However, we sent our first set of Wildcats home.
Second round was No. 5 New Mexico. We survived the scare there, and still squeaked by with three.
Third was Michigan State. Again, we overcame and beat Sparty. Izzo didn’t know what to do. Fourth was Florida.
People had little faith yet again, but we took the 13 ESPN experts who picked Florida and fed them Crow.
Next are you guys. The Kitty Cats. The Lexington Basketball Academy. The hated brother down the road.
We’re little brother. We’re the “Urban School” in the “Big City.” We don’t have Keeneland. We don’t wear ties to football games. We don’t exist, but the pressure is on you to win.
You expect to win, yet I’m here today to tell you that you’re not.
We’re playing for fun and you’re playing because you’ve invested your athletic budget into a basketball program. That gives us the edge.
And besides – no one in their right mind is going to pick us to win, but I am. I guess we’re just crazy here.
Good Luck, and Go Cards! Y’all may have the brow, but we have the heart!
University of Louisville