Is Kentucky vs. Louisville a rivalry or "just another game"?

12/24/2015 02:59 PM

LEXINGTON — For basketball fans in the Commonwealth, Christmas doesn’t fall on December 25th this year but rather on the 26th when No. 11 Kentucky and No. 15 Louisville renew their annual battle out on the hardwood.

But despite the storied history between the two programs and passionate opposition between both fans bases, UK head coach John Calipari says he doesn’t think his young players consider the UofL matchup to be a “rivalry.”

  • “I don’t know if they will,” Calipari said during his Wednesday night press conference. “I mean, we have guys who probably don’t know that part of it. The Kentucky kids do. The other kids know that, hey, [Louisville is] a ranked opponent, they’re playing really good and we’re going to have to play well to win. If we don’t play well, it’s going to be a really, really hard game for us.”

The Wildcat players seem to agree that the UK vs. UofL clash is nothing more than just the next game on schedule — or at least that’s what they’re saying in front of the cameras.

  • “I know as a fan, I look at it like a rivalry,” junior guard and Kentucky native Dominque Hawkins said. “But once I came here, I don’t look at it as a rivalry [anymore] because, as Coach Cal says, we’re just trying to play to the best of our abilities, and we really only focus when we are in the SEC Tournament and March Madness … We’re just going to take it as another game.”
  • “No, it’s still just another game,” junior forward Marcus Lee said. “No, you have to go through this game like you go through every other game or you’ll mess up if you do something totally different or your routine different. It’ll throw you off, and you have to go through it like it’s a normal game like it is.”

Seriously?

KSTV discussed the Kentucky vs. Louisville game on Wednesday’s show, debating whether or not the players should consider the game a rivalry or just treat it like any other game:

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