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Cardinals' Pitino: If Wildcats Win, Secure The Bridges

Kentucky faces Baylor Sunday for the right to go to the Final Four in New Orleans, the winner taking on West Regional champ Louisville.

Kentucky. Louisville. A battle for Bluegrass State bragging rights. A rivalry of the utmost in college basketball, where hatred reigns on both sides for the other school.

I talked to my friend Jerry Brewer from the Seattle Times, a columnist, basketball junkie and Kentucky native.

Is Kentucky-Louisville like Auburn-Alabama in football, I asked?

"Worse," he told me.

Michigan-Ohio State?

"Worse. People don't understand. There's no rooting for the team from your state."

Louisville coach Rick Pitino has coached at both schools. "If that happens, it would be awesome. Awesome for the state," he said. "But I don't get into these petty things, Kentucky-Louisville. To me it's nonsense. I never got into the Mets-Red Sox or Yankees-Red Sox. I just appreciated being a Yankee fan. And I appreciate the excellence."

Much as Pitino doesn't care for the "petty jealousies" between the schools, he does realize the enormity of the game if it comes to pass.

"There will be people in Kentucky that will have a nervous breakdown if they lose to us," Pitino said. "They've got to put fences on bridges. There will be people consumed by Louisville."