Kentucky comes in as a one point favorite after handling the North Carolina Tar Heels one week ago on a neutral floor. The Cards are a completely different team as they will want to slow it down and make it a slog compared to the high paced game the Heels played.
Although Louisville lacks in overall talent and depth, make no mistake that Chris Mack will have them ready to avenge that embarrassing 30 point loss the Cards suffered at Rupp Arena last season.
As for the Cats, they’re going to need to be focused and patient in the half court. I think a steady dose of Reid Travis to begin the game would be a great strategy. Louisville’s bigs cannot contend with him and the ground and pound method will wear them out.
If Ashton Hagans can replicate the type of game he had against UNC and Keldon Johnson can continue his stretch of great play, then the Cats should have no trouble in the Yum! Center today.
Tweets of the Day
It’s cute watching the four or five clips that Louisville fans have to share from their good memories of the “rivalry” game over the years— Round Daddy (@JStreble82) December 29, 2018
Pelicans' Anthony Davis finishes w/ 48 points & 17 rebounds in win over Mavericks.— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) December 29, 2018
NBA players w/ at least 48P/17R, 2004 to present:
- Anthony Davis: 4 times
- All other NBA players combined: Once pic.twitter.com/wb8tEQoW4l
Anthony Davis is having a runaway MVP caliber year.
If you could clone a game for Cats it would be the one vs UNC!Not much changes today in that regard— Mike Pratt (@MikePratt22) December 29, 2018
The Card will do everything they can to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Nothing will come easy against Louisville | Lexington Herald Leader- Talent gaps haven’t mattered much in this series outside of one or two games. In all honesty, teams tend not to cover. I’m not expecting much of a struggle (maybe a half) today but it wouldn’t surprise me given the history.
Cats vs. Cards Vegas Style | WDRB- Some very interesting numbers here. Worth a look if you’re looking to put some money down today.
Hagans living up to the defensive hype | Cats Pause- I expect Hagans to come out today like he has the last two games and look to shut down the Cardinal guards. They’re not near as good as what he faced a week ago.
Can Calipari keep his dominance over Louisville | SB Nation- Mike Rutherford does his best to stay neutral but flops all over the place. Of course the “Adolph Rupp may have been a racist” card was used as well as his warped view that Louisville is somehow the shining example of basketball standards.
Pitino reminded of Kentucky after Euro League win | ESPN- The man still regrets leaving Kentucky.
It reminded me of Kentucky,” he said after the game. “Just like that, and that’s the highest compliment I give any crowd. Because I’ve always felt that in Kentucky basketball is a religion, and the fans tonight motivated us to play that type of defense.
I bet if he had another chance he would stay at UK and forego the awful stints at Boston and Louisville. His legacy would have been unrivaled in college basketball.
OMG this is Rick Pitino's official team photo pic.twitter.com/oUDTUh9DH3— Mike Vernon (@M_Vernon) December 28, 2018
Instead we have this.
Cal pregame presser | Cats Illustrated- Even though Rick is gone, Calipari knows the importance of this game and he also knows Chris Mack is not a pushover coach. He’s going to have his team fired up and intense.
UK and UofL by the numbers | WDRB- Cats are better across the board in every facet of the game. Now do it on the court.
Auburn dominates Purdue | CBS- It was 49-7 before the halftime break as the Tigers shut down Jeff Brohm’s team. The best part was watching the mental gymnastics from Louisville fans as they rushed to claim that Jeff Brohm’s a bum and they never wanted him anyway. I’m sure Soupy Satterfield is the answer.
I will be doing a 2 hour pregame show with Jason Ence and Jason Anderson of The Zone from noon until tip off on ESPN 680. Tune in and call in! Then join us after the game as we break it all down in the UK postgame show.