UK vs. Louisville – Preview
Posted by ibleedblue040 on January 4, 2008
Well the day is almost here UK fans. Kentucky plays host to the Louisville Cardinals this weekend at Rupp Arena in a meeting of two very disapointing teams that are looking for a confidence boost to change their season around. Louisville is coming off an embarrasing loss to the Cincinnati Bearcats at home, and Kentucky has three embarasing losses this year against Gardener-Webb, Houston, and San Diego.
Kentucky comes in after by far their best two halfs of the season in a 93-49 drubbing of Florida International and wants to continue their good play against their cross-town rival. Louisville on the other hand is looking for some sign of consistency. Louisville had been on a mini roll before the Cincinnati game, and they’re let off the hook a little bit with Dayton turning out to be for real. Many Louisville felt like with Juan Palacios and David Padgett coming back to the team that they would go right back to the top of the rankings and the final four back in sight, but the were sadly mistaken.
Keys to victory
There are a few things Kentucky needs to do to win against the Cardinals. One of them is contain Louisville on the offensive boards. If Patterson and Stevenson down low don’t box out and allow Caracter, Padgett, and Williams to get extra chances they will make UK pay. The offensive glass, in my opinion, will be the biggest key to victory for the ‘Cats.
Another key to victory for Kentucky is getting to the free throw line. Kentucky went to the stripe a season-high 40 times against Florida International and I have already stated how that game turned out. Adding on to that, if Patrick Patterson gets the proper amount of touches (15-20 shots in my opinion) he will eventually get the Cardinals’ big men in foul trouble which will make them thin on depth on the interior and will put us on the line.
If the Wildcats can at least do those two things I think they will have a great chance at winning. My prediction for the game is a 71-66 win for the ‘Cats and I think Jodie Meeks will have a great day with 20 pts, 4 rebs, and 3 assts. The Louisville game last year was Meeks’ coming out party and I think he will remind the Cardinals how good he is.
This section is here to talk about a couple of the all-time great UK vs. UofL games. The first one is the 1984 Midwest Regional in the NCAA tournament. Kentucky came into the game ranked #3 in the country and trailed at halftime by 4. UK climbed back in the second half led by Dicky Beal’s 15 pts, 9 asts, and 6 stls. Beal led the comeback in the second half and pulling out a 72-67 win in Rupp Arena.
Another great game has to be the 2003 game when Patrick Sparks hit three game winning free throws. Kentucky fought all the way back from a 16 point deficit at halftime. They only scored 16 first half points and still managed to come back and win 60-58. Trailing by 1 with just under 5 seconds remaining, Patrick Sparks dribbled into the corner and pump faked Otis George into the air and got fouled on a 3 point shot with 00.6 remaining on the game clock. He went to the line and hit the first, hit the second, and hit the third to solitify the win at Louisville and lock up the biggest comeback in the rivalries’ history.
Jan. 5 vs Louisville
4:00 pm EST on CBS