Louisville basketball and long time rival Cincinnati will get back together next season for the first time since 2014. We revisit high points of Louisville’s most historic clashes with Nasty Nati.
Perhaps the most uber-loathed opponent in Louisville basketball history, outside of the Kentucky Wildcats, is that of our sister city right up I-71: Cincinnati.
The Cards and Bearcats have faced off 99 times throughout their storied rivalry’s history, spanning from 1921-2014. Louisville leads the all-time series 56-43. The two schools have 5 National Championships combined.
The bad blood in this particular matchup had included proverbial slugfests, a school-to-school transfer, an assistant coach poaching, and finally looking ahead to November 2020, where Coach Chris Mack will square off against his hometown college, one in which his Xavier team was involved in an infamous brawl with just a few years ago.
Last summer Jacob Lane wrote about Louisville basketball’s schedule for 2019 and why the Cards would be smart to add long-time rival Cincinnati back on the schedule. As he noted, there was likely no way Louisville was to get back to playing Cincinnati with Mick Cronin in town, considering the bad blood the two have from their years going head-to-head in the Crosstown Shoot Out. That’s why it became a legit possibility when Cincinnati hired then Northern Kentucky coach John Brannen, who just so happens to be a very close friend of Mack.
The two went back and forth last week on Twitter where they ultimately announced that Louisville would travel to Cincinnati in November of 2020 for the first year of a three-year series.
To celebrate the announcement of the 100th meeting between the two teams, I’ve decided to compile the top 6 greatest moments in the rivalry’s history, a series that has rarely not lived up to the hype.