There's been high drama and bad blood between Kentucky and Tennessee the past few years.
When the teams met last season, the Cats beat the Lady Vols on their home court for the first time since 1985.
Tennessee repaid Kentucky in a physical, contentious Southeastern Conference championship game, topping UK by one point.
There was aggressive play that included not one, but two, double technicals.
Matthew Mitchell even called out Vols forward Cierra Burdick for what he said was "unsportsmanlike conduct."
"I'd rather see two teams play, not have a bunch of talking, yapping, unsportsmanlike conduct, but that's what it ended up being," he said in March.
It's been that type of game nearly every time the teams have played during the past few years, and Tennessee Coach Holly Warlick expects it will be again Thursday night in Memorial Coliseum.
"I just think we're both competitive and we both play similar styles and we play hard, and defense is a priority," she said. "It's intense. It gets physical. It's two athletic teams."
That SEC championship game March 9 seems like a million years ago to the Kentucky coach as his No. 10 Cats get set to take on the sixth-ranked Volunteers.
"We're in a different spot than we were in the SEC Tournament championship last year, emotions running high after the game, emotions running high during the game," Mitchell said Wednesday. "That seems like a long time ago right now."
He said Kentucky (16-4, 5-2 SEC) isn't focused on its next opponent or its recent past with Tennessee. Instead the Cats are focusing inward, trying to get back to their defensive roots and get better in their young frontcourt.
"With this team, the opponent's almost irrelevant from the standpoint of what you need to do to be successful," he said.
"So we're definitely preparing for Tennessee and getting ready for Tennessee and preparing for victory tomorrow night, but the things that we're working on in practice, I don't know if they're a lot different than if we were playing Georgia on Sunday."
The Lady Vols (17-3, 7-0) present yet another tall challenge for the sometimes defense-deficient UK frontcourt, with four of their top five scorers playing in the paint, led by 6-foot-3 Isabelle Harrison (12.1 points, 8.9 rebounds a game).
And maybe a year or two ago, the focus would be on stopping the Harrisons, the Burdicks, the Bashaara Graves or Jasmine Joneses of the Volunteers, but this year it's on something else entirely.
The past couple of years, Mitchell had veterans like Samarie Walker and DeNesha Stallworth on the floor. As transfers, they had an entire year (or more) to watch and learn.
Now UK is relying mostly on freshmen in Alyssa Rice, Alexis Jennings and Kyvin Goodin-Rogers to make the same kinds of plays that the older players once did.
"We just haven't gone through this in a while," Mitchell said of breaking in young post players. "...You can look at it as a great challenge and positive experience, and that's what I've tried to embrace. ... These kids have good character, they work hard, make some, in my opinion, silly mistakes at times, but I need to coach them through that."
That's included streamlining the game plan.
"This has to be a lot more simple," he said. "That doesn't mean it can't be good. That doesn't mean we can't win tomorrow night. We just have to do what we've been working on real well and we have to play extremely hard and we have to outwork Tennessee."
Before the loss at Louisiana State, Mitchell said he mistakenly was grading the new UK post players on the same curve as past forwards.
"That got us into a spot where I was probably more negative than I needed to be with our post players," he said.
So instead of putting a lot of pressure on a top-10 matchup in Memorial Coliseum on Thursday, with another ranked opponent (Georgia) coming to town Sunday, Mitchell's group has tried to focus on itself.
"There may be some years that I might approach the game different, might put more emphasis on Tennessee, but we're really trying to work on what we need to do to be successful," he said.
"It's an important game, it's an important rivalry. I just haven't had a lot of time to work that angle because we've got so many things this team needs to do and improve on."