It is going to be interesting to see how John Calipari and Rick Pitino both handle the Kentucky-Louisville game. They are both going to handle it in the right way.
Nobody really knows the extent of their relationship. I think they are somewhat cordial to each other, but there are rumors of some animosity behind the scenes and none of us really know what is going on with those two. I think they are both good showmen and will both want to put on a good show.
More importantly, I think both of their teams will be ready to play in a big, big game. We are playing a little better than Louisville now, but forget the records in that game because both coaches are going to want to win so bad.
John and Rick are so much alike. I think they probably look in the mirror and could stare each other down. They both have big egos, but they know how to deal with the media, deal with the fans and deal with expectations. But deep down inside you have to know they are battling for the spotlight, recruiting, bragging rights. They both want to win this game bad and whoever loses will have some sleepless nights and that's going to add to the intensity.
Knowing coach Pitino like I do, he is always a guy that is intrigued by going into situations where people don't give him much of a chance to succeed like this game.
He didn't have much of a chance when he took over the Knicks, but he turned us around. People didn't give him much of a chance when he took over the program here, but he turned UK around in a hurry. His only misstep was the job he did at Boston, but you see what he has done at Louisville. He is a competitor and for one game, Rick Pitino is probably as good as there is at getting his team ready to play. He is coming in here against a lot of adversity, but he wants to win.
But John Calipari knows Rick Pitino's legacy here and he understands in order to be held in the same breath as Rick Pitino a couple of things have to happen. He has to beat Rick Pitino consistently, and he has to win a championship. He has that same personality, fight and loves the limelight and doesn't mind living his life under a microscope. What better point to prove than to beat the guy who had the success here that Pitino did and I think he will.
WALKER: How will Cal-Pitino handle big game?
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