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Kentucky Wildcats vs. Louisville Cardinals: 2014 NCAA Tournament Regional Semifinal Live Game Thread

It's the 'Cats and the Cards. Kentucky goes to war with itself again, and the winner is on to the Elite Eight.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Here we are, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation. Right where we were back in December, facing the Louisville Cardinals. Both teams are different now. Both better. So this should be one of the most interesting and exciting games of the year. The Wildcats come in on a season high as far as confidence is concerned after knocking off the #1 seed Wichita State Shockers, and Louisville comes in with the burden of defending champion expectations, being a favorite, and seeing some experts question which team is more capable. But the Cardinals are undoubtedly, and deservedly the favorite in this game.

Essentials for victory

  • Turnovers — Kentucky must avoid them like the plague. If the Wildcats turn the ball over 20% or more, they are unlikely to win

  • Rebounding — Kentucky must rebound extremely well on both ends. Kentucky must dominate the glass convincingly.

  • Attack the rim — The Cardinal guards are too small to defend Aaron and Andrew Harrison off the dribble drive.

  • Share the ball — Kentucky has to remember why they are playing better, and sharing the ball is a big reason.

  • Have fun — in many ways, this has been a season without joy. Have some joy. If the chips get down, fight back and find a way to win.

This is a game that would redeem most, perhaps even all of this season. That's a lot to put on their shoulders, but Kentucky made their own bed, and now they have to lie in it. I think they are fully capable, and now, I think they are ready to claim the place in college baskeball so many were willing to cede to them early in the season.

Go, 'Cats!