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|First meeting||February 15, 1913
Kentucky 34, Louisville 10
|Latest meeting||December 21, 2016
Louisville 73, Kentucky 70
|Next meeting||December 29, 2017|
|All-time series||Kentucky leads, 34–16|
|Largest victory||Kentucky: 34 points (1948)
Louisville: 22 points (1988)
|Current win streak||Louisville, 1 (2016–present)|
The Kentucky–Louisville rivalry refers to the rivalry between the University of Kentucky Wildcats (Kentucky) and the University of Louisville Cardinals (Louisville). The Kentucky–Louisville rivalry is one of the most passionate rivalries, especially in men's college basketball. It is considered one of the most intense rivalries in all of sports. The intensity of the rivalry is captivated by the proximity of the two schools and the interest in college sports in the state of Kentucky where there are no pro-affiliated sports teams.
The Kentucky–Louisville rivalry has been ranked the 2nd best rivalry in college basketball by Bleacher Report and 3rd best rivalry in all of college sports by Basketball Hall of Fame contributor Dick Vitale. Kentucky and Louisville first played against each other in 1913 but stopped playing each other in the 1920s, playing only twelve times between 1913 and 1983. The rivalry was generally dormant with only occasional matchups until the teams met in the 1983 NCAA Tournament. Since then, the two teams have met each year in late December or early January.
Much like the Iron Bowl, the Kentucky–Louisville rivalry is all the more intense because the two schools have consistently been among the nation's elite men's basketball teams for most of the last 50 years. Both schools are also two of the most victorious programs in NCAA men's basketball history; Kentucky is #1 on the list of all-time winningest programs in Division I Men's Basketball and Louisville #11. Kentucky has eight national championships and Louisville three. Combining for eight national championships over the last 38 years, Kentucky and Louisville have captured 22% of the national championships, or greater than one every five years.
The rivalry was fueled when Rick Pitino was hired as Louisville's head men's basketball coach in 2001, as he had served in that same role with Kentucky from 1989 to 1997. Kentucky leads the all-time basketball series with Louisville 32 games to 15, and Kentucky leads the modern series 23 games to 12. In six tournament meetings as of 2014, Kentucky leads the series four games to two with their most recent win coming in the 2014 sweet sixteen 74-69. The teams met in the 2012 Final Four, and Kentucky defeated Louisville with a score of 69-61 en route to the national title. This was the deepest ever tournament meeting between the two schools and their first tournament meeting since 1984.
|Date||Site||Winning team||Losing team||Series||Notes|
|1913-02-15||Lexington, KY||Kentucky||34||Louisville||10||UK 1-0|
|1914-02-07||Lexington, KY||Kentucky||22||Louisville||17||UK 2-0|
|1914-03-03||Louisville, KY||Kentucky||26||Louisville||13||UK 3-0|
|1915-01-23||Lexington, KY||Kentucky||18||Louisville||14||UK 4-0|
|1915-02-27||Louisville, KY||Louisville||26||Kentucky||15||UK 4-1|
|1916-02-12||Lexington, KY||Louisville||28||Kentucky||22||UK 4-2|
|1916-02-22||Louisville, KY||Kentucky||32||Louisville||24||UK 5-2|
|1922-01-17||Louisville, KY||Kentucky||38||Louisville||14||UK 6-2|
|1922-01-21||Lexington, KY||Kentucky||29||Louisville||22||UK 7-2|
|1948-03-27||New York City, NY||Kentucky||91||Louisville||57||UK 8-2|
|1951-03-20||Raleigh, NC||Kentucky (1)||79||Louisville||68||UK 9-2||1951 NCAA First Round|
|1959-03-13||Evanston, IL||Louisville||76||Kentucky (2)||61||UK 9-3||1959 NCAA Sweet Sixteen|
|1983-03-26†||Knoxville, TN||Louisville (2)||80||Kentucky (12)||68||UK 9-4||1983 NCAA Elite Eight|
|1983-11-26||Lexington, KY||Kentucky (1)||65||Louisville (6)||44||UK 10-4|
|1984-03-22||Lexington, KY||Kentucky (3)||72||Louisville||67||UK 11-4||1984 NCAA Sweet Sixteen|
|1984-12-15||Louisville, KY||Louisville (14)||71||Kentucky||64||UK 11-5|
|1985-12-28||Lexington, KY||Kentucky (13)||69||Louisville (15)||64||UK 12-5|
|1986-12-27||Louisville, KY||Kentucky (18)||85||Louisville||51||UK 13-5|
|1987-12-12||Lexington, KY||Kentucky (1)||76||Louisville||75||UK 14-5|
|1988-12-31||Louisville, KY||Louisville (14)||97||Kentucky||75||UK 14-6|
|1989-12-30||Lexington, KY||Louisville (8)||86||Kentucky||79||UK 14-7|
|1990-12-29||Louisville, KY||Kentucky (18)||93||Louisville||85||UK 15-7|
|1991-12-28||Lexington, KY||Kentucky (17)||103||Louisville (21)||89||UK 16-7|
|1992-12-12||Louisville, KY||Kentucky (3)||88||Louisville (9)||68||UK 17-7|
|1993-11-27||Lexington, KY||Kentucky (2)||78||Louisville (7)||70||UK 18-7|
|1995-01-01||Louisville, KY||Louisville||88||Kentucky (5)||86||UK 18-8|
|1995-12-23||Lexington, KY||Kentucky (4)||89||Louisville (25)||66||UK 19-8|
|1996-12-31||Louisville, KY||Kentucky (3)||74||Louisville (16)||54||UK 20-8|
|1997-12-27||Lexington, KY||Louisville||79||Kentucky (4)||76||UK 20-9|
|1998-12-26||Louisville, KY||Louisville||83||Kentucky (3)||74||UK 20-10|
|1999-12-18||Lexington, KY||Kentucky||76||Louisville||46||UK 21-10|
|2001-01-02||Louisville, KY||Kentucky||64||Louisville||62||UK 22-10|
|2001-12-29||Lexington, KY||Kentucky (6)||82||Louisville||62||UK 23-10|
|2002-12-28||Louisville, KY||Louisville||81||Kentucky (14)||63||UK 23-11|
|2003-12-27||Lexington, KY||Louisville (20)||65||Kentucky (2)||56||UK 23-12|
|2004-12-18||Louisville, KY||Kentucky (9)||60||Louisville (13)||58||UK 24-12|
|2005-12-17||Lexington, KY||Kentucky (23)||73||Louisville (4)||61||UK 25-12|
|2006-12-16||Louisville, KY||Kentucky||61||Louisville||49||UK 26-12|
|2008-01-05||Lexington, KY||Louisville||89||Kentucky||75||UK 26-13|
|2009-01-04||Louisville, KY||Louisville (18)||74||Kentucky||71||UK 26-14|
|2010-01-02||Lexington, KY||Kentucky (3)||71||Louisville||62||UK 27-14|
|2010-12-31||Louisville, KY||Kentucky (11)||78||Louisville (22)||63||UK 28-14|
|2011-12-31||Lexington, KY||Kentucky (3)||69||Louisville (4)||62||UK 29-14|
|2012-03-31||New Orleans, LA||Kentucky (1)||69||Louisville (17)||61||UK 30-14||2012 NCAA Final Four|
|2012-12-29||Louisville, KY||Louisville (4)||80||Kentucky||77||UK 30-15|
|2013-12-28||Lexington, KY||Kentucky (18)||73||Louisville (6)||66||UK 31-15|
|2014-03-28||Indianapolis, IN||Kentucky||74||Louisville (5)||69||UK 32-15||2014 NCAA Sweet Sixteen|
|2014-12-27||Louisville, KY||Kentucky (1)||58||Louisville (4)||50||UK 33-15|
|2015-12-26||Lexington, KY||Kentucky (12)||75||Louisville (16)||73||UK 34-15|
|2016-12-21||Louisville, KY||Louisville (10)||73||Kentucky (6)||70||UK 34-16|
Kentucky victories are shaded ██ blue. Louisville victories shaded in ██ red. † indicates overtime. Numbers in parentheses indicate a team's Associated Press Top 25 rank at the time of the games.
NOTE:. The 2010 game was the inaugural year for the award. The Bluegrass Sports Commission (BSC) names the Most Valuable Player of the men's basketball game between the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville.
|12-31-2010||Josh Harrellson||Kentucky||C||23 Points, 14 Rebounds |
|12-31-2011||Michael Kidd-Gilchrist||Kentucky||F||24 Points, 19 Rebounds|
|12-29-2012||Russ Smith||Louisville||G||21 Points, 3 Assists|
|12-28-2013||James Young||Kentucky||F||18 Points, 10 Rebounds|
|12-27-2014||Tyler Ulis||Kentucky||G||14 Points, 2 Assists|
|12-26-2015||Tyler Ulis||Kentucky||G||21 Points, 8 Assists|
|12-21-2016||Quentin Snider||Louisville||G||22 Points, 6 Rebounds, 5 Assists|
|January 2, 2001||ESPN||Bob Carpenter||Jay Bilas|
|December 29, 2001||CBS||Jim Nantz||Billy Packer|
|December 28, 2002||ESPN||Dan Shulman||Dick Vitale|
|December 27, 2003||CBS||Gus Johnson||Billy Packer|
|December 18, 2004||ESPN||Dan Shulman||Dick Vitale|
|December 17, 2005||CBS||Verne Lundquist||Billy Packer|
|December 16, 2006||CBS||Verne Lundquist||Billy Packer|
|January 5, 2008||CBS||Verne Lundquist||Billy Packer|
|January 4, 2009||CBS||Kevin Harlan||Clark Kellogg|
|January 3, 2010||CBS||Verne Lundquist||Clark Kellogg|
|December 31, 2010||CBS||Gus Johnson||Clark Kellogg|
|December 31, 2011||CBS||Ian Eagle||Clark Kellogg|
|March 31, 2012||CBS||Jim Nantz||Clark Kellogg
|December 29, 2012||CBS||Tim Brando||Greg Anthony
|December 28, 2013||CBS||Jim Nantz||Greg Anthony|
|March 28, 2014||CBS||Jim Nantz||Greg Anthony|
|December 27, 2014||ESPN2||Dan Shulman||Jay Bilas|
|December 26, 2015||CBS||Tom McCarthy||Bill Raftery|
|December 21, 2016||ESPN||Dan Shulman||Jay Bilas|
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The football rivalry between Kentucky and Louisville started one year earlier than the basketball rivalry but also had a long dormant period. Kentucky and Louisville first played each other in football in 1912. Kentucky dominated six meetings between the teams from 1912 until 1924, holding Louisville scoreless in all six games, after which the teams stopped playing. In 1994, with former Kentucky player Howard Schnellenberger coaching Louisville, the series was revived after a 70-year dormancy. The series is currently tied at 15–15 but Louisville leads the Govenors Cup series 15-9.
From 1994 to 2006 the annual matchup was the first game of the season for Kentucky and was the first game for all but two of those years for Louisville. In 2007 the game was moved to the third game of the season when played in Lexington but remained the first game when played in Louisville. Starting in 2014, which marked Louisville's inaugural season in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Governor's Cup became the last game of the regular season for both teams to coincide with several other ACC-SEC same-state rivalries.
The 2017 game was won by Louisville, 44–17. Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson was named MVP of the showdown.
- Kentucky Wildcats
- Louisville Cardinals
- Governor's Cup (Kentucky)
- The Rivalry: Red V. Blue
- Traditional athletic rivalries in many countries of the world
- "Dick Vitale picks the best rivalries in college sports". ESPN.com.
- "Louisville Hires Pitino To Spice A Rivalry". The New York Times. March 22, 2001.
- "Kentucky's Record versus Louisville". Big Blue History. Retrieved September 16, 2007.
- "Kentucky Wildcats vs. Louisville Cardinals - Box Score - December 31, 2010 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
- "Louisville Cardinals vs. Kentucky Wildcats - Box Score - December 31, 2011 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
- "Kentucky Wildcats vs. Louisville Cardinals - Box Score - December 29, 2012 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
- "Louisville Cardinals vs. Kentucky Wildcats - Box Score - December 28, 2013 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
- "Kentucky Wildcats vs. Louisville Cardinals - Box Score - December 27, 2014 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
- "Kentucky Wildcats vs. Louisville Cardinals - Box Score - December 26, 2015 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
- "Kentucky Wildcats vs. Louisville Cardinals - Box Score - December 21, 2016 - ESPN". ESPN.com.