Do you like Duke – North Carolina? We all do. Great games, great teams, great fun.
But if you want piss and vinegar with your rivalry in basketball instead of wine and cheese, you have to welcome the hatred of Kentucky-Louisville. You have to respect the little things. You have to embrace the enmity of two fan bases that really, really – no, really – despise each other.
Remember that two senior citizens fought in a dialysis clinic over a rivalry in 2012 before their teams met in the Final Four. Until they do that on Tobacco Road, these sophisticated pant programs can be dropped.
Recently, the Wildcats vs. Cardinals had lost some of their switch, the edge of streetfight. First, Kentucky played with a hammer on Louisville̵
Now? Think of Mack completely foamy.
Mark December 26th on your calendar – sources told Sports Illustrated that the game will probably be played in 2020, although it has not been announced. Boxing Day can literally be Boxing Day when Mack and Calipari get together at Yum Center.
On Tuesday night, Mack posted a two-minute video on Twitter, fiercely of Calipari and Kentucky about alleged planning of demonstrations around this year’s game. It was a bravura performance.
“Card fans, your fearless leader, Coach Mack,” he said, launching his oratory. “I’m constantly asked, ‘Coach, are we playing the GAME?’ Are you scared? Are you a chicken? You’re not going to play Kentucky?
“As for the British series, here’s one thing: I want to do what’s most convenient for John and his program. You really believe that, don’t you? That I want to do the best for John? ”
Provocative! Go on.
“It doesn’t matter that we have mutually agreed dates on December 12 to play the game, and the fact that they withdrew from the 12th because they were returning from London on the 6th of December after playing in Michigan. I thought it was too close to the 12th. It doesn’t matter that this game was canceled on December 6 – there is no trip to London. Can we play this game on the 12th? It doesn’t matter that they scheduled Notre Dame instead of playing us on the mutually agreed date of December 12th. Never mind that they called ESPN and tried to change one of our ACC games without our knowledge or permission. “
Indiana fans and former coach Tom Creen nodded deliberately after going through a twist program with Calipari and Kentucky a few years ago. Now, is this excitement of strokes 100% accurate? We’ll see what Kentucky says when Cal answers – bet the house, he’ll answer. But know this: Cal was never shy about calling the Bristol suits to put some pressure on him and get things in his favor. This part is 100% plausible.
Now back to Mack:
“It doesn’t matter that Coach Stops and his football program at the University of Kentucky complied with this request in football to move Louisville’s home game from 2020 to 2021. If you can do it in football, it seems you can you did it in basketball. It doesn’t matter that the University of Cincinnati asked us to do what we want Kentucky to do, and we granted that request. “
Some explanatory backgrounds here: With the planning chaos pandemic, Mack was thinking last week in a podcast about this year’s Kentucky-Louisville game on a neutral site, then withdrew the contract so that Louisville could take advantage (financially and competitively) of full house in 21 years, unlike the game of Kentucky in an empty or almost empty arena with 22,000 seats. (That’s why Cincinnati wanted to get his game back against Louisville one season back.)
Apparently Mack’s comments on podcasts spurred that from Calipari on Tuesday, according to The courier newspaper: “If they decide not to play, then we will include another team. We already have this team. “And that, in turn, seems to be what made Mack come out later in the day.
And now, Chris Mack’s dramatic conclusion disappears.
“Listen, I don’t want to interfere with the best rivalry in college basketball. What is most convenient for coach Cal … ”
He slammed his fist on the table.
“… We will do it. See you at Yum Center. Go to the cards. “
And with that, the dying embers of rivalry roared back to the power of the blast furnace. The edge returns. The heat is on.
Do you see Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams arguing in public? Not you. It helps that the Atlantic Coast Conference plans its matches against each other so they don’t have to. It also helps that each coach is in a safe place at his station, with eight national championships between them and many years of work.
Here in the Kentucky community? The default position does not play well. When both sides play well, it feels fake. Often is fake. In a state without professional sports, the Kentucky-Louisville rivalry is overwhelming. In a country with some clear demographic differences between fans, the cultural war is real.
These are the reasons why Calipari is the perfect addition. He thrives in conflict and is most comfortable in battle, which is why he perceives so many enemies. He needs them.
This time, Cal didn’t even have to go looking for a fight.
And let’s just say that Mack is not a man to back down from scrap. When he trained at Xavier, the deep-seated rivalry with Cincinnati was at or near peak viciousness. (It involved a big in-game battle leading to long player suspensions while Mack trained the Musketeers and Mick Cronin coached the Bearcats.)
That Chris Mack was not the one we saw facing John Calipari the previous two December. But he made a theatrical performance on Tuesday. And now, as Cal likes to say, the hottest and most hateful rivalry in basketball college is like Donkey Kong.