Sports

Bluegrass showdown: Kentucky, Louisville ready to tangle again with the stakes mighty high

  • Kentucky head coach John Calipari shoots a half court shot as players watch during practice for their NCAA Midwest Regional semifinal college basketball tournament game Thursday, March 27, 2014, in Indianapolis. Kentucky plays Louisville on Friday, March 28, 2013. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Kentucky head coach John Calipari shoots a half court shot as players watch during practice for their NCAA Midwest Regional semifinal college basketball tournament game Thursday, March 27, 2014, in Indianapolis. Kentucky plays Louisville on Friday, March 28, 2013. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)  (The Associated Press)

  • Louisville head coach Rick Pitino talks to his players during practice for the NCAA Midwest Regional semifinal college basketball tournament game Thursday, March 27, 2014, in Indianapolis. Louisville plays Kentucky on Friday, March 28, 2013. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Louisville head coach Rick Pitino talks to his players during practice for the NCAA Midwest Regional semifinal college basketball tournament game Thursday, March 27, 2014, in Indianapolis. Louisville plays Kentucky on Friday, March 28, 2013. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)  (The Associated Press)

  • Kentucky head coach John Calipari reacts after missing a half court shot as players watch during practice for their NCAA Midwest Regional semifinal college basketball tournament game Thursday, March 27, 2014, in Indianapolis. Kentucky plays Louisville on Friday, March 28, 2013. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Kentucky head coach John Calipari reacts after missing a half court shot as players watch during practice for their NCAA Midwest Regional semifinal college basketball tournament game Thursday, March 27, 2014, in Indianapolis. Kentucky plays Louisville on Friday, March 28, 2013. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)  (The Associated Press)

John Calipari sent Andrew and Aaron Harrison and three other freshmen to sit behind the microphones and talk about Kentucky's upcoming Sweet 16 matchup against Bluegrass State rival Louisville.

Rick Pitino sent up seniors Russ Smith and Luke Hancock.

That, as much as the 70 miles that separates the schools, is the gulf between the neighbors who play Friday in one of the most important meetings in their long, colorful and not-always-friendly rivalry.

Eighth-seeded Kentucky plays the one-and-done game. Fourth-seeded Louisville goes for a more long-term approach.

They meet for the second time in the last three years in the NCAA tournament. Kentucky won the 2012 Final Four matchup on the way to the national title.

This year's winner plays Tennessee or Michigan in the Midwest regional final Sunday.