Peck Hickman would have derived a lot of satisfaction from the University of Louisville basketball team’s 78-56 win over Western Kentucky University on Saturday, finally giving UofL a 40-39 lead in the all-time series.
Louisville hasn’t enjoyed an advantage since 1932 when it lost to WKU by a lopsided 37-14 score in Bowling Green. Over the next 12 years, Western Kentucky would be totally dominant, winning 20 of 22 games. WKU owned a 25-6 edge in the rivalry by 1944.
That was the year UofL would hire Hickman, a former four-year player at WKU, to be its first head basketball coach. He would lose his first game that season to WKU but win the second. He would go on to win six of the next seven games to end Western Kentucky’s dominance. Hickman, however, was 12-14 against the Hilltoppers when he retired in 1967.
Denny Crum, of course, owned an overwhelming edge, winning 12 consecutive games between 1974 and 1990. His teams beat Western 14 times while losing only twice to them.
Rick Pitino, who assumed the reins in 2001, has been credited with eight wins in nine games, indicated after the most recent win that he would like to continue the rivalry which began in 1926.