Sports rivalries are built from great games against one another, being a part of the same conference, consistent matchups and even sharing the same state. Rivalries are what sports are all about for fans and players. The tense atmosphere and bad blood runs deep for almost all rivals and their fanbases. Some rivalries are built from the beginning of time while others have arise over time. So for the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville how exactly did this rivalry form?
The Kentucky-Louisville rivalry begins as a rivalry due to proximity. The state of Kentucky has no pro sports teams so the state takes their two University' serious. Separated by 80 miles, these two schools divide the state in half, which is the perfect fuel for a rivalry to form. The two schools first faced off in 1912 and has since been considered one the most fiercest rivalries in all of college sports.
The Kentucky and Louisville rivalry is best known for their bad blood on the basketball court. The two first matched up in 1913 and have played each other a total of 55 times. Kentucky holds the lead in the all time series 38-17 with their largest win coming by 34 points (1948) while Louisvilles largest victory came in 1988 by 22 points. The rivalry got more intense when former Kentucky head coach Rick Pitino was hired as the Louisville head coach in 2001, just 4 years removed from his time with the Wildcats. The two schools have also played multiple times in the NCAA tournament, including in the 2012 final four where Kentucky beat Louisville.
The football rivalry doesn't have as rich of a history as the basketball rivalry does as they matchup had a long dormant period. The rivalry on the gridiron is called the Governors cup and Louisville currently holds the series lead at 15-12. The game use to be played at the beginning of the season but has since been moved to the last week of the year to add to the stakes of the game. Kentucky has won the last 4 games and the matchups in recent years have been filled with personal fouls and fights showing just how much of a rivalry these schools have.