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Notre Dame Fighting Irish (23) @ Kentucky Wildcats (17): Big East/SEC Invitational Open Game Thread

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What a mouthful.

Anyway, I will be attending the Big East/SEC Invitational tonight in Rupp Arena West Freedom Hall here in Louisville as the Arkansas Razorbacks take on the Seton Hall Pirates in the first game, and the Kentucky Wildcats battle the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the nightcap.

Naturally, this open game thread may be used for either game if you like, as I plan on posting it in time for both, but the real game of interest to us Kentucky fans is the nightcap. Here are the particulars, via

Notre Dame @ Kentucky
Game Notes Kentucky Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | Notre Dame Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader
Date & Time Weds., Dec. 8, 9:30 p.m. ET
Coverage TV: ESPN
Radio: BBSN
Online Audio
Text Updates
Location Freedom Hall
Louisville, Ky.

After an unpleasant visit to the North Carolina Tar Heels last weekend on Tobacco Road, the chastened 'Cats of Kentucky need to rediscover the winner's circle versus the Little Green Leprechauns of Notre Dame.

The South Bend Celtics have known nothing but victory so far this season, but the competition hasn't been up to the quality of the Bluegrass State Felines. That's going to result in a culture clash, where a seasoned Notre Dame bumps up against the youngest, quickest, most athletic team they've seen this year.

Here's what I hope to see:

  • A track meet. Notre Dame is playing at a lower pace than last year, and Kentucky needs to find a way to get this game as up-tempo as they can, consistent with their thin bench. Speaking of the bench, we need
    Another bench player. Last weekend, the Wildcats managed to play only six Wildcats as many as ten minutes. In as much foul trouble as Kentucky has been in so far, we need to have at least eight playing ten minutes or more.
  • Better defensive pressure. UK did not put enough pressure on Carolina's turnover-prone guards, and that's a big reason why we lost.
  • Less fouling. UK has to find a way to play better defense without a prodigious number of whistles.
  • Keep lighting it up. Good shooting cures a lot of ills.

Here's what I don't want to see:

  • Notre Dame dominating the offensive glass. That's a sure loser for UK. Kentucky needs to continue to be competitive there.
  • A parade to the free throw line for Notre Dame. That's how the Tar Heels won.
  • Lack of defensive intensity. That's how the Connecticut Huskies won.
  • Lack of Terrence Jones. That's also how the Tar Heels won.

Let's get this done. Go 'Cats!