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    Photo courtesy Kentucky Wildcats Facebook Page
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    Many University of Louisville men’s basketball fans will tell you that their second-favorite college hoops team is whoever Kentucky is playing.

    This weekend, though, we think Cardinals fans should put their Big Blue bias aside and actually root for the Wildcats, who are trying to complete an undefeated season and win their ninth national championship.

    Here are five reasons why UofL fans should root for UK at the Final Four.

    #1. So that the national championship trophy can return to the Bluegrass State. If Kentucky can beat Wisconsin in the national semifinals Saturday night, then defeat the Duke-Michigan State winner Monday night in the title tilt in Indianapolis, the state would have its third championship in four years. In fact, if UK could’ve beaten Connecticut in last year’s final the Commonwealth could be going for its collective fourth consecutive title after UofL won it all in 2013 and the Wildcats did the same in 2012. If Kentucky can cut down the nets Monday night it would prove once and for all that the best college basketball is played in the Bluegrass.

    #2. Because Louisville only lost to Kentucky by eight points during the regular season. Of UK’s 38 victories this season 30 have been by double figures. The first of the Wildcats’ eight single-digit triumphs was their 58-50 win over Louisville on Dec. 27 in the KFC Yum! Center. Although it was a very ugly game (UofL shot just 25.9 percent) the hosts hung with the Wildcats pretty much the whole way (it was a three-point game with a little less than 9 minutes left). If Kentucky can cap off its perfect, historic season UofL fans can always claim that the Cards gave the Cats one of their toughest tests of the season.

    #3. Willie Cauley-Stein. Even if you hate UK, you can’t hate WCS. If you can’t like Kentucky’s junior center for eccentric personality, then you have to love his heart. He’s always doing nice things for UK’s younger fans, especially those facing hardships.

    #4. The Bullitt County Connection. Although UK doesn’t have any players from Jefferson County on its roster, it does have one from Bullitt County. Sophomore forward Derek Willis is from Mount Washington and is a graduate of Bullitt East High School. Although Willis has only averaged 3.9 minutes and 1.3 points in 19 games and is the team's 10th man, he’s still a member of one of the most talented squads in the history of college basketball. Willis would likely be a starter on countless other teams around the country, but instead he’s content to sit the bench, cheer on his teammates and wait his turn, even if there’s no guarantee that he’ll ever be a starter. That’s admirable.

    #5. To keep Duke from winning another national championship. A UofL fan’s worst nightmare may be a Kentucky-Duke matchup in Monday night’s final, but a Wildcats’ win in that game might be the lesser of two evils. Although Cards fans may hate UK, the rest of the country (outside of Durham, N.C. at least) hates the Blue Devils. Plus, who wants those preppy elitists and their holier-than-thou coach to think they have something on their new Atlantic Coast Conference rivals?

    Photo courtesy Kentucky Wildcats Facebook Page

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