Fires of Hate to Burn Once Again: Louisville-Cincinnati to Renew Hoops Rivalry

by killyp
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Photo courtesy of Louisville athletics

It has returned — a series both famous and infamous between two schools.

A series separated by little distance and even fewer pleasant formalities. A coach of an ACC powerhouse and a new up-and-comer. A game of pure, unadulterated hate.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Louisville/Cincinnati is once again on the clock.

The teams have not met since February 2014, but that is set to change. After a 7-year hiatus, the teams are slated to meet in Cincinnati on Friday, Nov. 13.

The proud Cardinal and Bearcat programs share two things. The first is a love for the sport of basketball. The second is an intense hatred for the program on the other end of the interstate.

These programs hate each other for a variety of reasons. From coaches to players, and distance as well as pure competition. For much of both programs’  history, the two schools played in the same conference.

Be it the Metro, Conference USA, Big East or American Athletic Conference, these two programs were almost always the cream of the crop in their conferences. Louisville and Cincinnati are used to fighting for conference titles and top NCAA seeds. They seemed to be fighting each other for those accolades, more times than not.


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For fans, the hatred is certainly there, but so is the respect. Cincinnati and Louisville combine for five national titles, 17 more Final Four appearances and enough NCAA appearances and conference titles from multiple conferences to make most programs envious.

Needless to say, both programs are deep and dominant. With success comes support and support draws name recognition and program egos. Both Louisville and Cincinnati have their own program pride; coming into contact with the other usually led to bad blood and good basketball.

That being said, this is new ground. Louisville is now an ACC blue blood. Cincinnati is the cream of the crop and always near the top of the AAC.

Both programs have young new coaches. Cincy has John Brannen. Louisville has Chris Mack.

The coaches happen to be old friends. Mack was never the most liked person among the Cincinnati faithful dating back to his time at Xavier. With that being said, he should fit into this rivalry just fine.

We’ve all missed it. Let’s just be happy that the rivalry is back.

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