Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 28, 2014

McConnell Steers Clear of Louisville v. Kentucky

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell knows better than to take sides when Louisville and Kentucky meet on the basketball court.

McConnell Steers Clear of Louisville v. Kentucky

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“If college basketball is on, there are more eyeballs watching college basketball in the Louisville, Ky., media market than any other media market in the country,” McConnell said, an apparent reference to a recent report on the ratings for basketball games airing on ESPN.

“For the 12th consecutive year, Louisville was the highest-rated metered market for ESPN’s regular-season telecasts, averaging a 4.5 rating. Greensboro, Kansas City and Raleigh-Durham finished tied for second with a 2.8 rating,” the sports network said in a recent release.

Both the University of Louisville Cardinals and the University of Kentucky Wildcats are frequently featured on ESPN properties. That won’t change when Louisville moves to the Atlantic Coast Conference next season.

Basketball came up for discussion Tuesday because of a gaffe by an ad-maker for McConnell’s campaign that mistook Duke University for Kentucky.

McConnell has an undergraduate degree from Louisville and a law degree from Kentucky, which he attended along with Democratic Gov. Steven L. Beshear.

“My law school classmate, the governor, has refused to take a position on this important game, and I think he’s got it right,” McConnell said.

His public position in the basketball debate is similar to his unwillingness to pick between Kentucky Bourbon distilleries.

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