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2021 Louisville-Kentucky women’s basketball game will be part of Jimmy V. Classic

A little added spice to the annual rivalry game.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Sweet Sixteen-Oregon at Louisville Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

From U of L:

It was announced today by ESPN that Louisville women’s basketball will host Kentucky on Sunday, Dec. 12 at 1 p.m. ET in the 2021 Jimmy V Women’s Classic. The game will broadcast live on ESPN.

Also a part of the Jimmy V Women’s Classic, South Carolina will host Maryland on Dec. 12 at 3 p.m. ET.

The Jimmy V Classic, named for legendary college men’s basketball coach and former ESPN commentator Jim Valvano, annually raises money and awareness for the V Foundation for Cancer Research, which was founded by Valvano in 1993 to fund game-changing cancer research and scientists to eradicate the disease. The men’s classic began in 1995, while the women’s event debuted in 2002. Both events are part of ESPN’s V Week initiative, which utilizes platforms to provide important messaging to sports fans about the importance of cancer research. To date, ESPN has helped raise more than $134 million dollars for the V Foundation.

It marks the second straight season that the Cardinals have participated in the Jimmy V Women’s Classic. Last season, they put together a record-setting 116-75 win over No. 20 DePaul at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn.

Louisville has won the last four meetings against the Wildcats. Two years ago on Dec. 15, 2019, Louisville won a 67-66 thriller at Rupp Arena. The two teams last squared off at the KFC Yum! Center on Dec. 9, 2018 with the Cardinals claiming an 80-75 victory.

Louisville returns four starters (Olivia Cochran, Mykasa Robinson, Hailey Van Lith, Kianna Smith) from last year’s team that reached No. 1 in the Associated Press poll, finished with a 26-4 overall record, a fourth consecutive ACC regular season title and a third straight trip to the NCAA Elite Eight.

Kentucky posted an 18-9 mark last season, 9-6 in SEC play, under first year head coach Kyra Elzy. The Wildcats entered the NCAA Tournament as a 4-seed and fell 86-72 to Iowa in the second round.