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#13 UK Hoops vs. #7 UofL: Battle of the Bluegrass - Part 1, Preview/Game Thread

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The ladies take the stage today to continue that fantastic dance with our super-arch nemesis, the Louisville Cardinals. The last time these teams clashed, the Cats delivered a 69-64 victory in Lexington, taking down the #4 Cards as an appetizer prior to their famous 4 OT banquet with Baylor. What should we hope to see in today's battle?

If ever we needed a dose of FIERCE, it's tomorrow against the Cards!
If ever we needed a dose of FIERCE, it's tomorrow against the Cards!
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Ah, Louisville. It's such a fun word to say. Not just because you can inevitably tell if someone's parents raised them right by teaching them how to pronounce the city's name correctly. But because most true Blue Kentucky fans can't speak it without the inevitable lip curl and snarl. It's the kind of thing that makes a rivalry so delectable.

Both teams are coming in off some comfortable victories. The Cats cruised past the NKU Norse Wednesday, delivering an 82-64 win where Kyvin Goodin-Rogers led the team with a career high 19 points. The Cards delivered an 86-52 smackdown on #22 Iowa as part of the ACC-Big 10 challenge, led by Sara Hammond who coincidentally also delivered a season high 19 points. It's like the basketball gods wanted some drama going into this matchup or something.

Let's take a look at how these two clubs compare:

Louisville:

  • Overall Record: 8-0;
  • Best win - over #22 Iowa, the only ranked team they've faced to date
  • FG Shooting thus far this season: 49.6%
  • 3-point shooting thus far this season: 32.9%
  • Free Throw Shooting: 61.4%
  • Avg. Points per Game: 86.6

Kentucky:

  • Overall Record: 7-1
  • Best Win, over #8 Baylor, the only ranked team we've faced to date
  • FG Shooting thus far this season: 40.9%
  • 3-point shooting thus far this season: 29.6%
  • Free Throw Shooting: 62.6%
  • Avg. Points per Game: 81.6

For comparison's sake, let's look at the top 5 teams in the country:

Team FG % 3 pt % FT% Avg PPG
South Carolina 49.2% 38.1% 66.9% 80.6
Notre Dame 50.2% 40.0% 78.1% 90.7
UConn 52.3% 41.1% 68.6% 89.3
Texas 45.3% 31.4% 65.2% 76.7
Texas A&M 46.4% 30.3% 66.9% 71.4

So what does this tell us? It tells me our offense is less than effective. We really need to make every possession count today if we want to beat Louisville. Shot selection is going to be very important, and we have to make our time in the paint count. No more missed layups, Cats! If we can do that, and hit the 78.8% free throws we did against Baylor? I think we have a real shot.

Sadly, this game is not televised - boo! - but you can tune in for all the Cats/Cards action via ESPN3 at 2 PM EST.

Until gametime, BBN - Go Big Blue!