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Do you care whether UK wins or Loses Friday?

UL's out; UK's in. Every single one of us would rather be watching UL play KU this weekend than OSU play UK. We'd rather be in than out. Its human nature. If you don't believe me, just ask this guy.

Kenny_powers_medium

via www.daveandthomas.net


 That said, and since we are out, are you actively rooting against UK?

A recent study published in the prestigious journal Psychological Science asked the question of what is going on in our brains when good things happen to teams we like and bad things happen to teams we don't like. Long story short, they found that a certain part of the brain, the ventrial striatum, is active when your team wins, but its also active when your rival team loses. The ventral striatum is where reward is processed. Its the part of your brain that's active when you catch an inside straight on the river playing texas hold 'em, find a $20 bill on the sidewalk, or involuntarily stand up and put both hands up over your head when Kuric catches the ball in his corner.

The catch is that this part of your brain is also active when that obnoxious kid who thinks he's awesome because he once went to vegas gets sucked out on a bad draw or when the greatest basketball coach and humanitarian of the 21st century, John Calipari, gets yet another season vacated. Its active when good things happen to people you like, and when bad things happen to people you don't like.

Now, we can't control what our brain does. We can't tell our striata to only activate when good things happen to UL and stay put when bad things happen to UK. So the question is: Do you fight it?

Social psychologists use sports allegiances for models of ingroup/outgroup situations. As human beings, we have a tendency to have a bias in favor of our ingroups. You don't have to be a psychologist to understand how this is problematic for society. Adolph Rupp's ingroup bias (i.e., racism) was relatively benign in comparison, to say, Adolph Hitlers' ingroup bias. Is it wrong to hate UK?

One of the worst insults UL fans and UK fans through back and forth is: "You hate UK more than you like UL" and vice versa. I have to admit, it makes me feel a little classier of a person when Mike refuses to have a "Kentucky Hate Week" in response to KSR's "Louisville Hate Week." There's something appealing about being above it, about loving our team and being indifferent about theirs. We can stake out the high ground and keep the hate out of this blog, but can we really and truly keep the hate out of our hearts? (cheesy, I know).

So, we're all watching the sweet 16 this weekend. We'd watch the Harlem Globe Trotters play a group of kids who lived down the hall from us freshman year of college if they made it to the sweet 16. Otherwise, we wouldn't be visiting a blog that is focused on college basketball this time of year. But, who's rooting against UK and who truly doesn't care if they make it to the final four because it doesn't affect our season either way? Is it wrong to hate UK?

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