The Battle on Broadway

Two colleges located nearly within walking distance of each other in a notoriously basketball-mad state.  An elite private school and the state's flagship research university.  One projected to be its conference championOne projected to win it all.  Meeting early in the season to revive an old rivalry.

It may sound like I'm describing a Duke-UNC game, but it's actually far closer to home for many Kentuckians.  Unlike the kind of powerhouse conference competition those prickly ACC folks would bring us, tonight's match-up is an exhibition game between a driving force in college basketball and a small Division III program.

Now, as y'all know,Transy is my undergraduate alma mater, and I earned a graduate degree at UK.  I was thrilled last spring when word started to leak out that the hundred year gap since the schools' last meeting would finally draw to a close.  There would be a fantastic reminder that the University of Kentucky itself was once part of Transy. There would be shout-outs to the fact that legendary UK Athletic Director C.M. Newton got his start at TU.  There would even be reminders that the two teams, in the very infancy of the sport of basketball, played fourteen times, started a series of games which has remained tied since 1911.  And, there was the potential for some fantastic press and fundraising for the Transy athletic department.

Coach Cal at the UK-Transy Kickoff Dinner.
 I don't expect tonight's game to be much of a nailbiter. Transylvania boasts a solid team this year, but UK's roster claims six McDonald's All-Americans.  Anthony Davis promises to be unstoppable, no matter who he's up against.  But, tonight is bound to be one of those "can't miss" Lexington moments, one  in which the city's collective love of basketball meets the rich history of its colleges.

Lexington is the epicenter of college basketball -- a place where a mere exhibition game is elevated to poetic heights rather than serving as a fancy practice session.  I can't wait to celebrate my schools, my favorite sport, and my very favorite city tonight.

I hope to see y'all at the game!

(Over at The Kentucky Girls today, I address a burning question: What Should I Wear to the Game?)

All photos via Transylvania University.