Blog Entry

Pitino, Calipari rivalry reaches a new level

Posted on: August 4, 2011 11:55 am
Edited on: August 4, 2011 11:59 am

By Matt Norlander

"It's a free country, and the KFC, last time I checked, was part of this country."

Oh, you bet, Rick Pitino. You bet your esteemed coif that KFC is part of this great, great country. Pitino was more specifically referring to the KFC Yum! Center, where Louisville plays its home games. It's also where John Calipari will coach the Dominican National Team against former Kentucky players on Aug. 16.

Calipari will scheme against former Kentucky players in an exhibition match that the state is eagerly anticipating. It's just another not-so-obfuscated way of Calipari milking whatever he can out of the system. It should be a blast for folks in Kentucky who will take any semblance of organized, Wildcats-infused basketball they can get.

But, yeah, the game's taking place at Louisville's digs. According to our former colleague Matt Jones, Louisville and Pitino were so anti-Kentucky when this new joint got built, they had it put into the contract that Kentucky could not play any games at the Yum! Center. And, technically, they're not -- it's former Kentucky players going up against the Dominican National Team. Still, Pitino is biting the inside of his cheeks as much as he can on this. Just (not really) grinning and (barely) bearing it. And I'm sure he hated having to address it to the media yesterday, when a press conference was scheduled so he could discuss his team's upcoming summer plans.

Pitino and the Cardinals will be just getting back from the Bahamas when this game is taking place. And then there's this, from the AP:
When an obviously irritated Pitino was asked why isn't the exhibition game being played at Freedom Hall, he said: "Why don't you ask them that?"
So we have another little drama inside the Bluegrass State. Amazing how much blogging material can be borne out of Kentucky and Louisville's programs, right? Think about it: Duke and North Carolina, two programs that collectively have more impact and history on college basketball than the aforementioned two, don't produce half the amount of news or conversation that UK and U of L do.

The rivalry extends beyond the maniacal fanbases. And with this thorn in Pitino's side, the feud between he and Calipari plunges to another depth.

Photo: AP

Since: Jun 6, 2008
Posted on: August 4, 2011 6:23 pm

Pitino, Calipari rivalry reaches a new level

I think both you miss the point.  I think he  meant that the UNC-Dook rivalry is bigger than the U of L-UK rivalry.  Not that one of the programs overthrow UK as being the supreme end-all be all of college basketball existance (although Noth Carolina is only 19 gmaes behind you - one vacated season with Calipari and Kansas will pass you).  If you want your rivalry to mean something then you need to get U of L to pick up the slack.

Since: Jan 4, 2010
Posted on: August 4, 2011 5:21 pm

Pitino, Calipari rivalry reaches a new level

Regarding the story, Pitino never imagined he could be dethroned like this when he recommended Travis Ford for the UK position.  The situation has far exceeded his worst nightmare.  To make things worse, he just can't seem to beat Cal.  2-0 so far and the best is ahead of us.  Sutton referred to UK as UK's little brother, and Cal is doing a good job proving it day in and day out.  You gotta love it!!!

Since: Jan 4, 2010
Posted on: August 4, 2011 5:16 pm

Pitino, Calipari rivalry reaches a new level

Duke and NC have won a combined 9 NCAA championships to UK's 7.  UK has also the winningest program and the highest winning percentage of all times.  How does that make either programs more historical than UK's?  One could argue that UK has a better record than both Carolina programs.  This, if anything, shows tremendous ignorance of the history of the game from someone who writes for CBS Sports.  What a piyu

Since: Sep 3, 2009
Posted on: August 4, 2011 5:05 pm

Pitino, Calipari rivalry reaches a new level

Really?  Duke and NC have more impact and history in CBB than UK?  No slanted ACC bias here.  Better read your basketball history book.

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