As you might expect, there has been a ton of different spin on this game, particularly regarding the rugby scrum for the loose ball early in the first half involving DeMarcus Cousins and Jared Swopshire. The consensus arguments seem to be:
- It was just another rough play in a rough game;
- Cousins should have been ejected;
- Swopshire and Cousins should have been ejected;
- Reginald Delk started it all;
- Jerry Smith started it all prior to the game, by repeatedly bumping Cousins;
- Rick Pitino ordered his players to play dirty;
- John Calipari ordered his players to play dirty;
- Everybody who loves Blue hates Red, and vice versa;
- Everybody the other side dislikes is a "thug."
Frankly, I am disappointed in both fan bases. Yes, this is a passionate rivalry, but good grief, this is still a basketball game, not life or death. I love good natured ribbing and passionate arguments back and forth, but some really hateful things are being said out there by both sides, and it is damaging to both this rivalry and to the national image of both schools.
Our teams deserve better than that. I hope to appeal to the better angels of both school's fans to politely agree to disagree (or failing that, at least refuse to write bilious and objectionable comments) about the controversy in this game, and treat this wonderful rivalry with the reverence and respect it is due. It is possible for passion to overrun even the most storied rivalry and turn it into an object lesson in misbehavior, as we have seen from some high school players' parents in the past.
Passion, yes. Intensity, yes. Disgusting absurdity, racially insensitive remarks, and over-the-top angry rhetoric, no.
The news follows the jump.
Late-night ramble on Cats-Cards
I think Eric Crawford gets this exactly right, in almost every particular. Well worth reading
Kentucky Sports Radio -- Some Late Night Thoughts
Matt Jones offers his perceptions about the 'Cats versus the Cards. He saw pretty much the same game I did.
Cousins gets cool for Kentucky after early technical | courier-journal.com | The Courier-Journal
I wish college basketball would get away from all the unsportsmanlike behavior, smack-talk, and pre-game antics. I don't like Cousins playing chin music on Swopshire with his forearm, and I don't like all this pre-game nonsense. It is bad behavior on the part of all concerned, and that's that. It has no place in the sport.
No rhythm to Louisville's start, just blues | courier-journal.com | The Courier-Journal
Both teams were too hyped up, and the result was an ugly, excessively physical rugby match in place of a basketball game.
Kentucky vs. Louisville notebook: This dunk stunk for Patterson | courier-journal.com | The Courier-Journal
Much is being made about the battle of the boards, but the only rebounding statistic that matters is offensive rebound %. Louisville won that 36-33%, which is essentially a tie. That stat only matters when one team wins by 10% or more in most games.
But Louisville more than held their own on the boards, which was an area of concern for them.
Cats fight off Cards for 71-62 win | KentuckySports.com
It's interesting that Calipari seemed to know this game was going to be very physical well in advance. That speaks to his familiarity with Pitino's style during the Conference USA days, I suspect.
Lots of guts, glimpses of glory | KentuckySports.com
The ugliness some feared might greet Rick Pitino's first trip to Rupp after his summer revelation of personal transgressions never materialized — there were no signs, no posters, and just a brief "Karen Sypher, Karen Sypher" cheer from the upper deck — but was replaced by the rudeness on the floor.
Heh. Nice turn of phrase, John. That's what happened, all right.
What We Learned: Louisville-Kentucky game a battle of fouls, zones and gumption - Mike DeCourcy - College Basketball - Sporting News
I don't agree with DeCourcy for once, but if Cousins had gotten the hook, it would be hard to say it was a bad call -- the forearm was way excessive, if mostly harmless.
But I totally agree with him that Patterson should have gotten the ball more at the foul line versus the zone.
- No. 3 Wildcats stave off rival Cardinals before record Rupp crowd - NCAA Division I Mens Basketball - CBSSports.com
- State-Journal.com - Push comes to shove
- Beautifully Ugly " Big Blue Cats.com UK's BBC
- College Hoops Saturday Recap: Kentucky Outlasts Louisville | College Basketball by Collegehoops.net
- Calipari Post Game Interview...
Combustible Cousins could incinerate Kentucky's title dream - NCAA Division I Mens Basketball - CBSSports.com
I don't agree that Cousins should have been ejected, but I do agree that he could have. I think Parrish gets this mostly right. Cousins needs to find some kind of harmony between his skill and his hot temper, or things could go badly.
Kentucky's success rests with Cousins and his emotions - CBK News - FOX Sports on MSN
The Loathsome Troll's thoughts.
Cats Win a Fight
This very reasonable and level-headed post from Chris Diggs drew some of the most loathsome comments I have ever read from both sets of fans.
I wish the Courier-Journal would require registration before commenting on the blogs. Allowing anonymous people to make comments like this is just unfortunate, and it really cheapens the rivalry.
In Sin-Filled Kentucky, Calipari Beats Pitino -- FanHouse
More love from the Kentucky-loathing Jay Mariotti. Never has a blogger used so many words to say something so meaningless and jaded. Never. Embrace the hate -- from Mariotti, it is a real pleasure, because it's so easy to hate him back.
- Gene Wojciechowski: Rupp Arena crowd not all that hostile to Rick Pitino - ESPN
- Andy Katz: Both talent and youth on display for Kentucky in win over Louisville - ESPN
- The heat is back in the Commonwealth’s rivalry : The Kentucky Kernel
- UK Basketball: Wall leaves Louisville game with cramps: AMNews.com
- Wildcat Blue In a Sea of Orange: Call it "basket-brawl", but Cat's drop Cards 71-62
- Cousins didn’t need long to find out how intense Kentucky-Louisville rivarly is | Vaught's Views