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Monica Hernandez / Eyewitness News
Email: mhernandez@wwltv.com | Twitter: @mhernandezwwl

NEW ORLEANS- With thousands of fans in town this weekend for the NCAA Men's Final Four, Bourbon Street Friday night became a sea of blue and red, with an undercurrent of a deep-seated rivalry.

'The rivalry between Louisville and Kentucky is so deep that the Louisville fans will not root for Kentucky should they win the Final Four and make it to the championship,' said Demetrius West, who remains neutral but lives in Louisville.

As the teams gear up to face off in the Final Four Saturday, Louisville fans have one thing on their mind: beat Kentucky.

'I would like to take Louisville from Kentucky and make it the district of Louisville because we need to separate ourselves from Kentucky,' said Tina Woodford, of Louisville.

'There is no love, the dis-respectfulness, I mean, Louisville is looked at as a little brother and we're not,' said Justin Line, of Hart County, KY.

But in one case, a Louisville fan is the younger brother of a Kentucky fan, making for a family divided.

'The whole car ride down was an argument between U of L and UK, the whole car ride, 12 hours,' said Nick Jackson, a Kentucky fan who lives in Louisville. 'The rivalry is huge, it goes beyond anything, it started off way back when, but today it's just a pride issue

The long-standing divide is so strong, some fans said they are somewhat afraid for their safety.

'I'm afraid for my parents, and my brother,' said Woodford. 'I am afraid for what could happen.'

The other teams in the match up, the Kansas Jayhawks and the Ohio State Buckeyes, don't have the same kind of history.

'I like Ohio fans, I think they're cool guys,' said Will Brown, of Syracuse, KS, adding, 'We're going to beat you.'

'[This weekend] is really big because awhile ago it didn't look like the [Buckeyes] were going to get this far, but they finally come together as a team and they're playing the way they should be, so this is a big weekend for us,' said Cathy Fischer of Columbus, OH.

It's a big weekend for the city as old rivals battle it out to see who will play in the national championship.

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