Kentucky vs. Louisville: rivalry t-shirt wars (photos)

Rick Pitino white suit

Don’t think Louisville vs. Kentucky is a hard-core rivalry? Check out the Final Four smack-talking t-shirts after the jump. This is NASTY. Brutal, like Duke vs. North Carolina.

anthony-davis

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Michigan makes it 5 consecutive NCAA Title game losses for Big Ten

tim hardaway-ncaa-title

The Big Ten in the NCAA Title game of college basketball is starting to get like the Big Ten in bowl games versus the SEC in college football. Since Tom Izzo and the Michigan State Spartans won the NCAA Title in 2000, the Big Ten has finished runner-up in the NCAA Title game five times: Hoosiers in 2002, Illini in 2005, Buckeyes in 2007,  Spartans in 2009, and now the Wolverines in 2013.

Louisville outlasted Michigan 82-76 to secure the NCAA title.

And I am emotionally spent! What else could you ask for as a college basketball fan watching a NCAA title game? It was full of runs, tough defense, hustle, and a hard fought victory in the closing minutes…it was simply a great game!

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2013 NCAA Tournament: Midwest Regional bracket breakdown

louisville big east champs

Warning: I will not be responsible if you copy these brackets and are out of your NCAA Tournament pool by Sunday.  However, if you do listen to my college basketball wisdom and win some money, I want 20% of the pot or at least a shout-out on your twitter or facebook page.

Louisville earned the number one overall seed in the entire tourney and is the top seed in the Midwest Regional.  With Duke and Michigan State in the region as well, it won’t be an easy ride to the Final Four for the Cardinals.

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Notre Dame vs Louisville 5 OTs: instant classic

mike brey

ESPN College GameDay picked the right game to feature this week as Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center gave us the game of the regular season. Notre Dame vs Louisville on Saturday night was a 5 OT masterpiece won by ND 104-101. This was reminiscent of the 6 OT Big East Tournament game between UConn and Syracuse. Contests like these make me sad that this is a soon to be defunct conference. This was easily the college basketball game of the year.

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#2 Louisville Cardinals: College Basketball 111 in 111

pitino

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Last season was the definition of a rollercoaster ride for the Louisville Cardinals that ended with the team finding their stride at the perfect time.  The Cards claimed the Big East Tournament title and then made a run to the Final Four before being ousted by in-state rival Kentucky.  With a ton of talent returning, Rick Pitino should have his squad back in the championship picture.

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Louisville’s Jared Swopshire transfers to Northwestern

northwestern-mascot

Things are looking brighter for Bill Carmody in Evanston. Not only will he have one of his best recruiting classes ever coming in, with actual legitimate big men for the first time in a long time, but he also has immediate veteran help on the way to Northwestern.

That would be Louisville Cardinals forward Jared Swopshire, who was a contributor for the Big East power before getting injured and falling lower in Rick Pitino‘s rotation.

According to Scout.com (Purple Wildcats)

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#1 Kentucky Wildcats vs. #4 Louisville Cardinals: everything you need to know

ashley judd kentucky

It’s a bluegrass, bourbon, basketball battle. The biggest meeting ever between the two rivals from the state of Colonel Sanders’ fried chicken and his secret recipe. It’s the Kentucky Wildcats vs. the Louisville Cardinals at the Final Four in New Orleans. Sounds very Southern (and drunk) to me.

Let’s get to it!

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#1 Michigan St. vs. #4 Louisville: everything you need to know

msu

Michigan State has reached the sweet sixteen in 10 of the last 15 years. Tom Izzo is Mr. March as every player he’s recruited that has stayed in East Lansing all four years has reached at least one Final Four. Remember that whenever you fill out your brackets in future years.

The Big Ten is 9-2 in the tourney so far and comprises one fourth of the sweet sixteen. Purdue was inches away from possibly making it five teams, and 10-1. So remember that next New Year’s Day when the Big Ten gets destroyed by the SEC in bowl games. It’s the best college basketball conference this year, not the best college football conference. (That’s the SEC almost every year)

Challenging the B1G is the Big East and that brings us the Louisville Cardinals.

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Rick Pitino to Leave Louisville, Coaching When Contract Expires in 2017

pitino

The Big East conference will soon lose the man in the ice cream suit. If you find Pitino gross or corrupt, so won’t have him to kick around anymore- in five years. Rick Pitino said yesterday he won’t coach past the 2016-2017 season when his current Louisville Cardinals contract expires.

“When you’re 59, you’re realistic that you don’t have a whole lot of years left,” Pitino said at a news conference before the No. 4 Cardinals play Georgetown on Wednesday. “My contract’s going to run out in 2017. I’m not coaching any more after that.”

 

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#13 Louisville Cardinals: College Basketball 111 in 111

u of l cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

For the second straight year, Rick Pitino’s Louisville Cardinals had their season end in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament; this time at the hands of 13th seeded Morehead State.  With several core players returning, the Cards are expected to be a top ten team in 2011-12 though a season-ending injury McDonald’s All-American Wayne Blackshear lowers their expectations a bit.

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Rick Pitino Joining CBS and TBS, TNT Coverage of March Madness

PITINO

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino will join CBS Sports’ and Turner Sports’ coverage of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, serving as a guest analyst in the New York studio on Saturday, March 19 and Sunday, March 20. Pitino joins analysts Charles Barkley, Greg Anthony and Kenny Smith along with hosts Greg Gumbel and Ernie Johnson.