Sidelines with John Clay

Louisville player calls UK-U of L basketball rivalry ‘nasty’

Jordan Nwora scored 19 points and grab 13 rebounds to help Louisville overcome an 11-point first-half deficit and beat Robert Morris 73-59 on Friday night at the KFC Yum Center.

Next up for the Cardinals, now 9-3, is a visit from Kentucky on Dec. 29. That’s the same Kentucky that whipped Louisville 90-61 a year ago at Rupp Arena.

So Nwora was asked about UK’s return visit this season and what U of L’s new players need to know about the annual in-state matchup.

“It’s really just a nasty rivalry,” said Nwora. “If I had to put it in one word, it’s nasty.

“Last year, we all know what happened. We’re really just anxious for this next game coming up.”

What does Nwora remember from last year’s game?

“As far as environment, being at Rupp, it was crazy, the fans heckling you the whole time, hearing some stuff you wouldn’t want to hear,” Nwora said. “But as a player, you’ve just got to play through it. The same thing on the court, it’s the same thing. As a player, we all know how much it means. That’s what makes it so nasty.”

Kentucky plays North Carolina on Saturday in the CBS Sports Classic in Chicago. The Cats take an 8-2 record and No. 19 national ranking into the game against the ninth-ranked Tar Heels.

As for Louisville, with Christmas being around the corner, Nwora was asked Friday what was his favorite Christmas gift he had received? A car, said the sophomore from Buffalo.

And what does he want this year?

“A win over Kentucky,” Nwora said.

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