Against The Grain by: Andy Sullivan
Friday night March 23, there will be a huge rematch of a regular season showdown. This rematch will take place in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen, no less. The rematch of which I speak is the Kentucky Wildcats vs. the Indiana Hoosiers. December 10, 2011 was the scene of their regular season confrontation. Kentucky was up 72-70 with seconds remaining when Christian Wofford sank an uncontested three for the narrowest of Hoosier wins. Doron Lamb was the leading scorer that day for the Cats with 19.
How far back does this rivalry go, you ask? December 18, 1924 Indiana came to Kentucky and won 20-18 behind Palmer Sponsler’s game high 6 points for IU. December 14, 1943 was UK’s first win, led by Walter Johnson’s 13 points. Until last December, Kentucky had throttled the Hoosiers three straight, with victories of 81-62, 90-73 and 72-54.
A border war is always big (not to mention the fact that this is UK and IU’s first NCAA Tournament meeting) but it is made bigger when you have cousins who live in Indiana, as I do. It can get pretty spirited, let me tell you! After every game, it’s a sure bet that the winning side of the family will call the fans in the losing state. The only question is: how fast will the call come in? They’re all on Facebook, as am I, so as soon as Indiana beat VCU and Kentucky beat Iowa State, I wrote on one cousin’s wall “get ready”, etc. Good natured ribbing is one of the things that make March Madness great.
By the way, on Selection Sunday when it was announced that Indiana was in Kentucky’s bracket, CBS had a camera on Indiana and I could see coach Tom Creen give that “Oh no” look. He knew payback was coming, and it will arrive Friday night in “Cat-lanta”. The winner plays the Xavier/Baylor winner for a trip to the Final Four.
Hello, my name is Andy Sullivan. I received my bachelor’s degree in business from Mid-Continent University in May 2009. I began writing for Beech Tree News in July 2009. I enjoy playing guitar, the occasional Wii game, writing, and listening to music. I write a sports blog that can be found at http://andy-sportshorts.blogspot.com. If you have a comment, feel free to leave it in the space below.