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A House Divided: A Tale of Rivalry

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By Matt Birkholtz

March Madness has come and gone, but for one household, March 31, proved to be a house-divided, as Eric Herrmann and Cara Copes’ favorite teams squared off in the national semi-final game.

Herrmann, a teacher at Grant County High School his a graduate of the University of Louisville, and Copes a graduate of the University of Kentucky, were looking forward to the big night, including some superstitions on how to watch the game.

Hermann, who is originally from Bullitt County, which is just south of Louisville, has been a Cardinals fan since the fourth grade.

“I have always liked the University of Louisville,” Herrmann said.

Herrmann said he found out while living in Louisville the there is only a slight majority of Cardinals fans in comparison to Wildcats fans.

“Living in different parts of Kentucky, you realize as a Louisville fan that you are No. 2,” Herrmann said. “When I moved here to Grant County, I found out that I am No. 4 here, because there are more Cincinnati and Ohio State fans here than there are Louisville fans.”

Hermann met Copes while she was in dental school at UK and their first date was at an Eastern Kentucky University versus UK football game in Richmond.

“Her cousin was a teacher at the school I was teaching at the time and she set us up on our first date,” Hermann said.

“I went out with him despite him being a Louisville fan,” Copes said.

As game time came around, their household was gearing for the game.

“I think we were both nervous,” Copes said. “We have toned it down since we have had children.”

Copes said they were tense leading up to the game.

“We knew we weren’t going out for the game and unleash this out in the general public,” Copes said.

Copes, who attended UK when the Wildcats last won the national championship, was a little worried, but felt that the Wildcats would be able to answer with a run.

Copes said living halfway between Lexington and Cincinnati, she likes to watch the Lexington CBS channel for the game, but found out nearly halfway through the game, that they were watching the game on Channel 12 WKRC in Cincinnati.

“When Kentucky went up by two points, I changed it to Lexington channel,” Copes said. “That’s how crazy we are.”

Clad in a red shirt and a 2012 Big East Conference Tournament Champions hat, Hermann was geared and ready to see a possible upset of the Wildcats.

“We wore what we consider to be our lucky shirts,” Herrmann said. “I got the hat from a friend at church that went to Madison Square Garden and brought me one back.”

The game started poorly for the Cardinals, as they were down by as many as 13 points.
Louisville guard Peyton Siva led the Cardinals back into the game, tying it at 49-49.

Kentucky went on a 20-12 run to finish the game with a 69-61 win. Both Herrmann and Copes decided it was best not to talk after the game.

“We both felt that in order to save our marriage we should just be quiet,” Copes said jokingly.
Herrmann said he told his students that it was a good game.

“I think Louisville played the better game, but Kentucky was still to athletic for Louisville,” Herrmann said.

With Kentucky winning the National Championship with a 67-59 win over Kansas, April 2, Cara got to celebrate celebrate her team's eighth title.

"It's great," she said. "It's wonderful to see them win again."