Well, I don't know about you, but I was an emotional wreck in that half. When Louisville went on an extended run and Kentucky couldn't do anything but take bad shots, I was trying my best to hold my cool. Mostly, I succeeded, but not without a few expletives I'm not proud of. Rivalry game.
Well, this is a ball game, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and we knew it would be. The Wildcats did an amazing thing coming back from 13 down to only three at the half. I'm not quite sure how we did it, but frankly, I don't care.
First half stats
Check out stats and the foul trouble both teams are dealing with in the complete halftime box score: pic.twitter.com/7UwzytvErS— Kentucky Athletics (@UKAthletics) March 29, 2014
Yes, I'm worried about Willie Cauley-Stein, and I suspect he may well be done for this game. Let's hope that is the extent of its seriousness, because Kentucky is a totally different team without Willie. But injuries are part of the game, and Kentucky has been very fortunate in that regard up until now. He won't be back, according to this:
Update on Kentucky big man Willie Cauley-Stein: he's out for the game with a left ankle injury http://t.co/htg1SR4bHs— SB Nation CBB (@SBNationCBB) March 29, 2014
Honestly, given our foul problems and the injury, I'm just glad we're in this basketball game. If Louisville hadn't been shooting free throw blindfolded, I doubt the 'Cats would be within shouting distance of the Cardinals. They frankly outplayed us in almost every aspect, and if not for the abject foolhardiness of Montrezl Harrell, I'd be really concerned about the second half.
Look, Louisville is always going to be tough, and they are experienced and fearless. Kentucky looked tentative in the first half for all but about the last five minutes. That's not a good thing. On the other hand, Kentucky seems to have found their rhythm in some ways, but I really need to see smarter play in the second half, and the Wildcats have got to find a way to get good looks and fouls on the Louisville bigs. They had some success, but they have to do more. Louisville is not going away easy, and honestly, they totally outplayed Kentucky in that half.
Let's go, Kentucky. This is for all the marbles.