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cheap wayfarer sunglasses Live at 9 with Kevin Scarbinsky: Basketball in Kentucky getting closer to football in Alabama The Louisville-Kentucky rivalry is the basketball version of Auburn vs. Alabama in football in terms of intensity and winning national titles.

If Kentucky beats UConn in the national championship game Monday night in AT T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, there will be plenty of storylines.

John Calipari's name will be thrown into the debate on who's the best coach in college basketball. His NCAA Tournament record since getting to Kentucky already eclipses the likes of Mike Krzyzewski and Bill Self.

Calipari's one-and-done approach will be validated for the second time in three years with a big ring, and old-school basketball types like Bob Knight will reach for their smelling salts.

Around here, if the 'Cats cut down the nets, it'll mean something a little different. Basketball in the state of Kentucky will be one step closer to catching football in the state of Alabama.

In the two major college sports, the standard for consecutive national titles by more than one school from the same state is the four-year football run by Alabama and Auburn. The Crimson Tide won the BCS titles after the 2009, 2011 and 2012 seasons, and the Tigers carried the baton in 2010.

Auburn came so close to making it five in a row in January.

The state of Kentucky has a shot at a basketball three-peat tonight. UK won the 2012 national championship, and Louisville answered by taking the 2013 title. Kentucky is 40 minutes away from continuing the streak.

The difference is that Kentucky or Louisville don't have to go through each other to win it all, even though the 'Cats beat the Cards in the Sweet 16. They play in different leagues, and their one regular-season meeting every December is relatively meaningless in the championship picture.

Not so for Alabama and Auburn. Lose the Iron Bowl, and there's a pretty good chance you won't win the SEC West and play in the SEC Championship Game.

It will be possible to get a rematch in the new four-team College Football Playoff, and it likely would've happened last season had the playoff started one year earlier, but the odds will be against it.

There's also the little matter of emerging from the toughest football conference in the country to get a shot at the national title. The SEC is far from the top basketball league in the land at the moment, and Kentucky is proving this season that you don't have to win the regular-season title or the conference tournament to make a run through the NCAA Tournament.

For all those reasons, the state of Alabama is winning this little battle between two states who like to think they own their respective sports. But the state of Kentucky isn't far behind.

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