CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway have collaborated on some projects over the last few years.
But this week, they're sworn enemies. For one night, anyway.
Morrisey and Conway this week said they have a friendly wager over the outcome of Thursday's NCAA Sweet 16 game between the top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats and the NO. 5 seed West Virginia Mountainers. The game will be played in Cleveland.
If UK wins, Morrisey will give Conway a piece of handmade glass made by the Milton-based Blenko Glass Co. If WVU wins, Conway will give Morrisey a Meacham’s country ham from Union County, where Conway’s father was born and raised.
“While Kentucky has a great team, I believe West Virginia – a squad with incredible heart – can pull off this big upset," Morrisey said. "Our offices have worked together in a bipartisan manner on several initiatives, but when it comes to men's basketball, we must draw the line."
Conway, of course, sees the outcome differently.
“Given the recent history of this developing NCAA Tournament regional rivalry, this game is likely to be a battle," he said. "The Kentucky players, guided by Coach (John) Calipari, have proven all season long that they will rise to any challenge, and we are all looking forward to taking on our neighbors to the East.
"Congratulations to the Mountaineers on their berth in the Sweet 16, but I look forward to celebrating a Kentucky victory over WVU with my spoils from Attorney General Morrisey."
The last time the schools met in basketball was in 2011 when UK defeated WVU in the NCAA East Regional Third Round. One year earlier, WVU defeated UK in the NCAA East Regional Finals.
The two schools have played each other 19 times since 1924. UK has 14 overall victories to WVU’s five.
The coaches has a slightly different history, however.
WVU Coach Bob Huggins is 8-2 in games against Calipari. Seven of Huggins’ victories were when he was the coach at the University of Cincinnati against Calipari’s teams at the University of Massachusetts and University of Memphis.