Even if you don’t carry an allegiance to Kentucky or Louisville, that’s no excuse to not fully envelop yourself in the first of two Final Four games this Saturday night, so you better get educated on all things Cats and Cards before tip-off.
On the court this one may end up a lopsided victory for Big Blue, but everything surrounding this game is what makes it so special.
Here’s 10 things to help you get prepared for the Bourbon State invading Bourbon Street.
1) Learn everything about Russ Smith, and also be sure to follow @FakeRussSmith on Twitter. You won’t find a more lovable rascal in this year’s Final Four than the Cardinals offensive-minded guard.
2) Set up an RSS feed in your Google Reader for www.KentuckySportsRadio.com and www.CardChronicle.com. They’re the two best UK/UL for-the-fan blogs, and they’re run by two mildly famous people who double as “get it guys”.
3) Follow this link, then explore. The Pitino – Calipari passive-aggressive relationship/rivalry goes way back, beginning in New England and now spreading its roots in the Bluegrass State. The more you know about these two, the better off you are at 6:09pm on Saturday night.
4) Watch videos from The Rivalry, which was produced by WHAS in Louisville.
5) Remind yourself just how little this rivalry means to most of the players, as the six 2011 McDonalds All-Americans threw light jabs and laughs at each other exactly one year ago this week. “They’re still going to be our boys for life,” Anthony Davis said when the discussion turned to their regular season match-up at Rupp Arena. That’s right, no venom here between these talented 18-year old kids. Also please note how hot Michael Kidd-Gilchrist comes in and takes control of the conversation. Just like on the court, MKG does random YouTube videos with ferocity.
6) Watch this Gorgui Dieng GIF….a lot. It is a quintessential example that GIFs are funny almost solely because of the element of repetition. I love this GIF so much.
7) We would not be here today if it weren’t for this. While it looked bizarre and problematic for the Wildcats at the time, the firing of Billy Gillispie set into motion the start of a new regime in Lexington.
8) But we must be bipartisan here: Louisville, although it was short-lived, recently had to deal with their own shameful moment.
9) Understand that it’s completely normal for no fan of either of these two proud fan-bases to ever graduate.
Follow Nick Fasulo on Twitter @billyedelinSBN