Can Louisville hang with UK long term?

John Calipari and Rick Pitino square off Saturday in one of the season's most anticipated matchups. Mark Cornelison/Lexington Herald-Leader/Getty Images

All good things must come to an end, but Kentucky and Louisville fans are enjoying this era in Bluegrass hoops.

No longer does the Duke-North Carolina rivalry reign supreme. These days, it's the state of Kentucky that has become the epicenter, with the Wildcats cutting down the nets two seasons ago, and Louisville wasting no time with its rebuttal, winning it all last season.

Both teams have stumbled a bit out of the gates this season, but Saturday afternoon’s UK-Louisville matchup is as highly anticipated as any in the country. Even though Kentucky has lost three games and sits at No. 18 in the latest AP poll, and No. 6 Louisville dropped its lone contest against a legitimate opponent (North Carolina), these two teams may well figure into the national title picture again.

As long as John Calipari and Rick Pitino are around, it’s difficult to imagine this rivalry taking a significant dip.