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Wednesday, December 30, 2009
How many reporters can fit inside Rupp Arena?

By Eamonn Brennan

Saturday's Louisville-Kentucky showdown may give us a definitive answer.

Any game featuring Louisville and Kentucky -- you have to live in Louisville to truly understand the depths of the shared hatred here, but believe me when I say it's borderline frightening -- is going to be a media attraction. Reporters will show up regardless. Many press passes will be issued. But this year isn't just Kentucky-Louisville. It's Rick Pitino vs. John Calipari, the worst-kept mutual-hatred secret since the Cold War, which means both teams' fans will spend extra time and creative effort focusing on the other's scandals. Kentucky fans will hammer Pitino for his offseason legal war with extortion suspect Karen Sypher, while Louisville fans will attempt to remind Calipari of the vacated wins he left behind at Memphis. In the words of Marcus Bennett, ish just got real.

Which is a long way of saying that this time, Rupp Arena needs to seat many more media members than usual. How many more? You can see the total damage at CBS Sports, where Gary Parrish has a full list of the credentialed media for Saturday's game. I'm not going to reproduce it here, because that seems sort of silly; let's just say that I counted 85 separate credentials (some of which are duplicates for the same media outlet), including one for CoachCal.com, which sort of seems egregious, but whatever. And with all the pro scouts and national and regional media outlets on the list -- places like the Chicago Tribune, for example, which ought to have little obvious interest in Kentucky-Louisville -- the list reads more like a Final Four event than anything that will happen on Jan. 2.

And yet, here we are. Now ... where's that buffet?