NCAA Tournament 2012 Schedule: Why Louisville vs. Kentucky Is Must-See TV

Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIMarch 31, 2012

LEXINGTON, KY - DECEMBER 31:  Rick Pitino the head coach of the Louisville Cardinals reacts to a foul charged to his team during 69-62 loss to the Kentucky Wildcats at Rupp Arena on December 31, 2011 in Lexington, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The 2012 Final Four matchup between the Kentucky Wildcats and Louisville Cardinals is must-see TV.

Missing this game would be very regrettable on your part, so make sure you do everything you can to pencil it into your schedule. This is March Madness at its finest.

If you had to choose between either of the two Final Four games, this would be the game that I would recommend watching. It's got everything that even a casual college basketball fan would appreciate.


Star Power

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 30:  Anthony Davis #23 of the Kentucky Wildcats shoots the ball during practice prior to the 2012 Final Four of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on March 30, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisi
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Kentucky big man Anthony Davis is hands down the best player in the nation, and look no further than his recent Associated Press Player of the Year award for proof of that.

He's dominated the tournament so far, but his impact goes far beyond his numbers. His defensive presence is undeniable, and offensively he brings a swagger to the Wildcats that they don't have without him.

If Davis enters the 2012 NBA Draft, he'd be the hands down No. 1 overall pick. If you need a reason to watch this game, Davis comes in as the biggest and best reason.


Intense Rivalry

The rivalry between the Wildcats and Cardinals is one of the best in sports, and it's possibly the most underrated rivalry.

The state of Kentucky is torn into two because of these two teams, so the fact that they're meeting with the chance to go to the 2012 NCAA championship is staggering.

Check out this pretty raw account of the rivalry recorded by AP writer Nancy Armour via

Think Auburn-Alabama on the hardcourt, and you get the idea.

"We get along with most of them," Kentucky fan Pat Stahl said of Louisville fans, "as long as they don't talk to you."

Or, heaven forbid, say something at a dialysis appointment. A 71-year-old Louisville fan punched a 68-year-old Kentucky fan earlier this week after their discussion over Saturday night's game got out of hand.

To be fair, police say the Kentucky fan did flip off the Louisville fan.

"It all started with the racial lines in Kentucky," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said of the rivalry. "Now (it's) no longer racially motivated. It's just pure hatred."

Need I say more?


Polarizing Coaches

This game will feature two of the most polarizing coaches in the NCAA. Louisville's Rick Pitino is a legend in college basketball, and is known for his brash mouth, big personality and sometimes awesome suits.

LOUISVILLE, KY - FEBRUARY 13:  Rick Pitino the head coach of the Louisville Cardinals gives instructions to his team during the Big East Conference game against the Syracuse Orange at KFC YUM! Center on February 13, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo b
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

John Calipari, on the other hand, is undoubtedly a talented and great coach, but he doesn't have a squeaky clean reputation or record, which causes many to dislike him.

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 25:  Head coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats reacts in the second half against the Baylor Bears during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball South Regional Final at the Georgia Dome on March 25, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The thing about these two coaches is that there is a faction of fans out their that love when either of them lose. On the other side of that though, there are fans that love when they win.

The beauty of this matchup is that either way, somebody is going home a winner, and the other a loser.


Seriously, Watch This Game

If I haven't sold this matchup enough for you, consider the fact that the winner gets to play in the national championship.

Kentucky has only lost twice this season, and they are undoubtedly incredible. But Louisville has been red hot in the tournament, and they've already knocked off a No. 1 seed in Michigan State.

Here's all the info you need:


Louisville vs. Kentucky

Saturday March. 31 at 6:09 p.m. EST on CBS


Ohio State vs. Kansas

Saturday March. 31 at 8:49 p.m. EST on CBS 

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