Cards, Cats To Square Off in New Orleans; UK Women Advance To NCAA Elite Eight

by Gabe Bullard on March 25, 2012

For the first time in nearly 30 years, the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky men’s basketball teams will play each other in the NCAA tournament.

Over the weekend, Louisville beat Florida to secure the West Region title and UK topped Baylor to win the South Region. The Cardinals and Wildcats will face each other Saturday in New Orleans for a shot at the finals.

U of L coach Rick Pitino said Saturday that while he knows the game will mean a lot for many fans, he doesn’t put much stock in the rivalry.

“The way I look at Kentucky and the way I look at their coaching staff…I marvel at excellence. I respect excellence. But I don’t get into these petty things, Kentucky, Louisville. For me it’s nonsense. I never got into the Yankees Red Sox or that sort of stuff. I just appreciated being a Yankees fan,” he said.

UK coach John Calipari also downplayed the rivalry, saying he’s told his players not to get caught up in the hype. Calipari called U of L a talented, well-coached team.

On the other side of the bracket, Ohio State and Kansas will meet in the Final Four.

In the women’s NCAA tournament, Kentucky defeated Gonzaga Sunday night to advance to the Elite Eight round. UK takes on top-seeded Connecticut Tuesday night.

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