As the trash talk heading into Friday's March Madness match-up between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Louisville Cardinals hits a fever pitch, two of Kentucky's congressmen are getting in on the rivalry.
Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Barr of Lexington and Democratic U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville announced a friendly wager on the outcome of the game, with the winner taking home a bottle of bourbon from every distillery in the other's home district.
If Louisville were to win — in a reversal from Kentucky's tournament victory over the Cardinals in 2012 — Barr would be on the hook to deliver a bottle from Buffalo Trace, Woodford Reserve, Four Roses, Wild Turkey, Town Branch and Barrel House Distillery.
Barr took to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday morning to declare his allegiance to the Wildcats, noting Kentucky's win over Louisville in December.
"When it comes to college basketball, there's simply no place like my old Kentucky home," Barr said. "Our Wildcats won the meeting earlier this season, and I am looking forward to enjoying some of our neighboring district's finest distilled spirits after the Cats beat the Cardinals ... again."
Yarmuth responded, in a joint statement from both offices, that "Kentucky has a lot of talented players, and they're maturing into a great basketball team."
"But the Cardinals are proven winners," Yarmuth said. "The defending champs lead the nation in margin of victory, turnover margin and, by my count, booms. And Coach (Rick) Pitino's undefeated Sweet 16 record is — there's no other word for it — Russdiculous," a reference to U of L star Russ Smith.
Sam Youngman: (502) 875-3793. Twitter: @samyoungman. Blog: bluegrasspolitics.bloginky.com.