clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Louisville Cardinals at Kentucky Wildcats: National Semifinal #1 Open Game Thread

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

This is it, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation -- the moment we have all been waiting for. This is the National Semifinals of the 2012 NCAA Tournament, game #1 between the Louisville Cardinals and your Kentucky Wildcats! Game particulars are as follows, courtesy of

Louisville @ Kentucky
NCAA Tournament - Final Four
Kentucky vs. Louisville
Sat., Mar. 31 - 6:09 p.m. ET
New Orleans, La.
Game Notes: UK Get Acrobat Reader | UL Get Acrobat Reader
UK Postseason Guide
Tourney Central
Radio: UK IMG
March Madness on Demand
Text Updates
Game Program

Tonight, the Wildcats will begin the assault on the summit of the mountain of college basketball. At base camp here in New Orleans, the Big Blue Nation will try to push, pull, prod, and propel the Wildcats over the first hurdle of this great adventure against their biggest rival, Rick Pitino's Louisville Cardinals.

We need everyone to get on board and support this effort. All your hopes, well-wishes and passion will be needed to help propel this team to NCAA Title #8, the first act of which opens tonight in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in downtown New Orleans.

To win this game, Kentucky must:

  • Force Louisville to make shots. If Louisville shoots very badly against the 'Cats, they simply cannot beat them. Defense will not put points on the board.
  • Avoid three pointers unless they are open and necessary. No matter who you believe, the dome seems to have a negative affect on perimeter shooting. Kentucky needs to get most of their points in the painted area.
  • Force Peyton Siva into tough decisions. Siva is going to get into the lane, and so is Russ Smith. Make them beat you by throwing in tough, challenged shots, not dumping the ball off for dunks and layups.
  • Attack the Louisville zone off the bounce. Louisville's zone is so aggressive, you can dribble into the middle at times. When that happens, the 'Cats need to take advantage.
  • Take care of the basketball. 20% turnovers or more puts Louisville in a very competitive place.
  • Take advantage of fast break opportunities. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is the best finisher off the break in the history of college basketball, save maybe John Wall.

That's it. This is it. Let's win this thing.

Go, 'Cats!