The Louisville Cardinals (9-3) host archrival No. 16 Kentucky (9-2) today at 2pm inside the Yum! Center. The game will be televised on ESPN2. The Wildcats are currently 3 point favorites.
Kentucky is led freshman guard Keldon Johnson. Johnson is averaging 16.9 points per game and rebounds well from the guard spot with 5.4 per game. Johnson is shooting 46.2% from 3pt range, but only averages 1.6 per game, still the Cards will have to close out with a hand up and shut off the driving lanes to win today.
After Johnson, Kentucky relies heavily on their two big men, grad-transfer Reid Travis and sophomore PJ Washington. The two bigs combined average 28.4 points per game and 14.9 rebounds per game. Louisville will have to slow down at least one of Kentucky’s bigs both on the boards and in the paint today, and they’ll have to do so without getting in foul trouble.
It’s a new era in the rivalry. It’s no secret that Cal has had his way with these games since his arrival at Kentucky. But aside from David Padgett’s interim season last year, this will be Cal’s first time facing anyone other than Pitino. Chris Mack brings experience from another heated rivalry (Xavier and Cincinnati) so while the stage may be bigger, he will be no rookie to the competitiveness.
If Louisville can execute in the half-court and force Kentucky into frustration bad shots, the Cards will come out on top today.
Louisville 78 – Kentucky 72