Kyl, McConnell make Louisville-'Zona bet

When the Louisville Cardinals and the Arizona Wildcats tip off Friday night, Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-Ken.) and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) will be sticking their necks out -- literally.

McConnell, a Louisville grad, and Kyl, who earned two degrees from Arizona, have made a bet that requires the loser to wear the winning school's tie one day next week, a bet first reported by the Arizona Republic's Dan Nowicki.

It's not exactly the most ambitious of bets -- in fact, it pales in comparison to the bet between Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). When Nelson's Florida Gators won the BCS national championship in January, Coburn had to sing "Rocket Man," while Nelson would have been on the hook to belt out a rendition of "Oklahoma!" had the Sooners won the title.

But it could be a much more visible victory for one of the two senators. As minority leader and minority whip respectively, McConnell and Kyl have a weekly Tuesday date with reporters following their party's policy luncheon. If the loser has to wear the winner's tie on Tuesday, the cameras will all pick it up.

We're told that may not happen, though: Kyl's office wanted to make the payout due on Tuesday, but McConnell's office balked during what were surely sensitive negotiations, preferring Monday instead.

That's odd, considering the matchups. Top-seeded Louisville is a nine-point favorite over number twelve Arizona.

The push for Tuesday tie day came to a head when one Kyl staffer needled his rival's office: "I thought you guys were Cardinals, not chickens," the aide joked.

- Reid Wilson

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