Everything You Need to Know About the Louisville-Kentucky Basketball Rivalry

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Everything You Need to Know About the Louisville-Kentucky Basketball Rivalry
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The spotlight has never shone brighter on the rivalry between Kentucky and Louisville, winners of the last two national titles between them and set to face off in Sweet 16 action this week. The Battle for the Bluegrass is a college sports rarity, a nonconference showdown with every bit of the intensity (and quality of play) of the best intraleague contests.

Thanks to backcourt stars ranging from Rex Chapman to Russ Smith, it’s also a matchup that plays almost as fast as that other sport the state of Kentucky is famous for. In recent years, that’s had a lot to do with the uptempo philosophy of newly minted Hall of Famer Rick Pitino, the coach who’s spent the better part of the last 25 years piling up more than 500 wins between these two programs.

Herein, a look back at the games, plays and stars who have made the Cardinals-Wildcats series too good to be contained in the regular season alone.

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