Originally written on Louisville Card Game  |  Last updated 11/13/14
Ncaa_basketball_louisville_a01e
A different feel for many Louisville basketball fans going into this year’s rivalry game against Kentucky. Rick Pitino is armed with an array of talented and seasoned veterans, exceptional guard play and plenty of beef in the front court, and a group of players keenly attuned to the fierceness of the rivalry. John Calipari will arrive with a handful of future NBA draft picks still finding their way and few upperclassmen to bridge the gap in talent. U of L enters the fray ranked among the top five teams in the nation, but UK is unranked for the first time in four seasons, nowhere to be found in the top 25. Not that past experience is a reliable predictor of future performance in a rivalry that means so much to coaches, players and fans involved in grudge matches. One or more of the future NBA stars could erupt at any time, the unpredictable almost a given in such settings. The different feel, however, goes beyond the talent on the court, with UofL enjoying a much brighter future conference-wise. UK fans have always enjoyed the security of belonging to the Southeastern Conference, believing that UofL resided on the other side of the track, outside the more prestigious leagues.  Or as one of their fans told me personally last fall “UK plays in a big-time atmosphere, UofL has always played in the minor leagues.” UK refused to play Louisville, remember, for more than four decades, not wanting to give UofL any sense of respect or equality by competing on the same basketball court or football field. Even when they were forced to begin competition in the 1980′s, there was always that smugness, that false sense of superiority. All that has changed with the University of Louisville having been invited to the Atlantic Coast Conference, a league whose members will respect UofL as a school in good standing, with universities such as Duke, North Carolina and others that UK could only hope to emulate in terms of overall prestige. Fans being fans, and fans of UK being among the most extreme examples, they’re always going to have problems acknowledging any of UofL’s accomplishments. That’s okay. But Louisville’s forthcoming membership in the ACC is impossible for them to belittle or ignore. The ACC is an entirely different neighborhood.  
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Klay Thompson takes knee to head from Ariza

DeSean Jackson skips Redskins OTAs, goes to Cavs game

Texans to be featured on HBO's 'Hard Knocks'

WATCH: Ducks score controversial goal

Report: Ray McDonald arrested for violating restraining order

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Braves, Dodgers complete six-player swap

USA Soccer, CONCACAF losers in FIFA’s ‘World Cup of fraud’

Report: Tom Brady suspension appeal date not set yet

Are the St. Louis Rams setting up Nick Foles for failure?

LeBron: Didn't see Cavs reaching Finals at start of season

Pete Carroll: Communication with Russell Wilson is ‘great’

Lil B takes credit for Harden's terrible game, lifts curse

Riley Curry steals show at postgame news conference

Warriors beat Rockets in Game 5, advance to NBA Finals

Kentucky fan in Louisville has 38-1 sticker on car

Nick Kyrgios talks sex before tourneys, dating female players

Jared Dudley: 'Melo is most overrated player in NBA

Garrick Sherman bashes NCAA in epic drunken Twitter rant

Adrian Peterson denies reports that he wants to be traded

Report: Bulls players told Tom Thibodeau will not be back

Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders "gets it"

Bucs DE George Johnson is a dog show enthusiast

The 3-point shot has become a divisive metaphor in the NBA

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

USA Soccer, CONCACAF losers in FIFA’s ‘World Cup of fraud’

The 3-point shot has become a divisive metaphor in the NBA

Corey Crawford is the weakest link for the Blackhawks

Star player missing OTAs? Keep calm...

Transfer rumors: Drogba, Pirlo and Gomez linked to MLS

Cano's slump: The good news, bad news

Disappointments of the MLB season

UGA wants SEC to ban transfers with misconduct issues

Long's great reaction to Bears releasing McDonald

Crazy stats from the NBA Playoffs

Royals' Guthrie sets records in blowout

Bears cut McDonald after incident

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.