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.

Peck Hickman
Peck Hickman

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.


Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

3 thoughts on “Peck can relax, Louisville finally surpasses WKU

  • December 21, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    I’m surprised that Rick would like to continue the rivalry at this time. After our treatment down there last year, it seems to me a UofL-imposed recess would be in order as punishment for such irresponsible, unchecked behavior. I’m all for forgiveness (and for playing other in-state schools besides UK), but let it be earned by more than just one good game here this last weekend. Perhaps some heart-felt apologies were promptly delivered from their AD to Jurich after last year’s game!?!

  • December 21, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Tom, while he says he wants the series to continue, I’m not sure he’s in a hurry to sign any agreements for a while.

  • December 21, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    I was ready to quit it after last year, but now I am so glad we played once more so we could take the series lead. I would be satisfied to end the association with us on top.

Comments are closed.