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Kentucky Basketball

Sen. Mitch McConnell

legislator photo

Madam President, something very special in the world of sports is happening in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Kentucky is well known as the home of the Kentucky Derby, often called the greatest 2 minutes in sports. But this coming Saturday, March 31, we will witness one of the greatest moments in Kentucky sports history. Two of the most storied and winningest programs in all of college basketball, the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky, will meet this Saturday in the 2012 NCAA Tournament Final Four. The two teams will face off in a semifinals game in New Orleans, and the winner of that game will contest for the national championship next Monday night.

In my State of Kentucky, the rivalry between UofL and UK is indeed a passionate one. From birth, it seems, Kentuckians are raised to root for one of these two teams; you either wear red for the Louisville Cardinals or blue for the Kentucky Wildcats. The two teams boast two legendary coaches, Rick Pitino and John Calipari. The teams have met every year since 1983, and they have met in the NCAA tournament four times in the past--most recently in the Mideast Regionals way back in 1984. Between them, they have 24 visits to the Final Four. But never have these two teams faced each other in the Final Four with the stakes so high. If the excitement and frenzy and turbulence that has been stirred up in Kentucky could be harnessed, we could solve our energy crisis. Basketball fans from Kentucky have been waiting their whole lives for this game.

On Saturday, we will prove that these two schools have the best rivalry in all of college basketball and that the Commonwealth of Kentucky is the best college basketball State in the Nation.

Let me say that again so my friends in North Carolina can hear it. UofL and UK have the best rivalry in all of college basketball, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky is the best college basketball State in the Nation.

But only one team can win on Saturday.

I am actually an alumnus of both schools. I attended the University of Louisville as an undergraduate, and I went to law school at the University of Kentucky.

I don't know who will win Saturday's game, but whoever the winner is will go on to defeat either Kansas or Ohio State and bring the national championship back home to Kentucky where it belongs. So count me in with my fellow Kentuckians and college basketball fans everywhere as we tune in this Saturday to see history in the making. It is going to be really exciting to watch.

I yield the floor.