As if the title doesn’t say it all, the No. 10 Louisville Cardinals host the No. 6 Kentucky Wildcats tonight at 7pm, the game can be watched on ESPN.
Kentucky comes into the game with an identical record to Louisville (10-1) but both teams have had different ways of getting here. Kentucky once again is known for it’s solid slate of freshmen phenoms. Malik Monk, De’Aaron Fox, and Bam Adebayo are the headliners of this year’s group. While this Kentucky team is scary on offense (95.2 PPG), they are noticeably lacking on the defensive end. UK is allowing a Cal Era worst 71.6 PPG, and if you truly think that offense is more important I’ll refer you to the last 10 NCAA champions. Only 1 out of the last 10 NCAA Tournament Champions has allowed over 70 PPG (UNC ’09), my point being: defensive style teams typically best their offensive counterparts.
The Calipari media train rolled in this morning and it’s stop was on Mike & Mike. Cal was asked about his comments and if they were aimed towards Rick Pitino. Cal said they weren’t intended for Rick and apologized if anyone thought they were. EVERYONE thought they were. I’m certain they were. Just another day in the life of Cal. The full podcast is below.
The game has been over for a couple of days now. So if you are one of the ones to say “It’s over. Move on. Get over it”, then this post isn’t for you. I appreciate you stopping by, but I haven’t written out all of my thoughts yet and closed the door on the game, so that is what I am going to do. You may disagree with me, and that is fine. We can have a discussion on things like that. But this forum is for me to hit on a few key points that I saw on Saturday. After getting this out, I will then be able to turn the page and move on.
With the exception of the 2012-2013 season, there’s no secret that John Calipari has had Rick Pitino’s number in head-to-head match-ups. Louisville has been dominant in recent years, as has Kentucky. Both with National Titles, Final Fours, conference championships, both coaches getting inducted into the Hall of Fame, and highly ranked recruited classes all in the last five years. Those are accomplishments any school would proud of to have, and that’s an understatement. Really, just read those accomplishments and think about how much success both programs have had in just the last five years. But for whatever reason, despite all that success and even having the better team in some of those years, Rick can’t seem to beat Cal.
When you are a 2007 Orange Bowl champion, everyone wants to get a picture with you.
Coach Rick Pitino spoke to Terry Meiners on Monday afternoon about the Kentucky game, a lineup change, and more. You can click the link and listen to the interview, or check out the full transcript below from courier-journal.com.
One of the main reasons I have this website is to be able to voice my opinion and have a forum to do it on. Rather than send 50 tweets or make a Facebook status (which I rarely do about sports anymore) about a particular game, it is easier to be able to make a post on here, where I have all the room that I need. If people choose to read it, then that’s great. If not, well I still survive so it’s OK.
I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Louisville-Kentucky basketball game on Saturday afternoon. Like I did a few times during football season, this will be a post of thoughts from me without watching the replay yet on TV. It is always different being at the game or watching at home, where you can hear the announcers and probably have more information. I am not sure I will watch the game again, but these are just 5 thoughts that stick out just from being at the game and seeing it only once.
I don’t have much time this morning, but I had to get up some sort of pregame post about the game today. This one will focus around a particular question I have been asked far too many times this week: “Do you think Louisville has a chance on Saturday?” Um, yes. If you know anything about rivalry games, particularly this one, you wouldn’t even have to ask that question.
This isn’t exactly a 1 seed against a 16 seed in the NCAA Tournament. This is the #4 team in the country on their home floor against the #1 team and in-state rival. Now I am well aware that this Kentucky team is supposed to be unlike any other that college basketball has ever seen. I just posted yesterday that their starting 5 is taller than every starting 5 in the NBA, which is pretty remarkable to me. But one of the two NBA teams that were tied for being the tallest were the Philadelphia 76ers, who are 4-24 this season. Height doesn’t mean everything.
It’s the eve of the annual Rivalry game against UK so what better time to go back and relive some of the greatest games!
1983 Dream Game
2014 NCAA Sweet Sixteen
Well maybe this one isn’t in time for the whole weekend, since it’s late Friday night. But hey, life happens, and posts are sometimes difficult to get published in a timely manner. But this is still Justin Time for Saturday and Sunday at least.
Cards getting FIU at the perfect time
I will try to do an expanded prediction piece of the FIU game on Saturday morning, so I will keep this fairly brief. I think the perfect medicine for the Louisville football team following a loss at Virginia, is this game against FIU. Louisville beat this team 72-0 last season, and while some people say this FIU team has improved, that was a Charlie Strong coached team that scored 72 points. FIU will start a freshman quarterback who I think will be very overwhelmed by the speed of the Louisville defense. He and the head coach both talked about how their last opponent, Pittsburgh, was built to be big and strong and kind of slow. But Louisville is completely different and very fast. I don’t think even they realize how fast the defense is.
According to UofL Sports Information Director Kenny Klein, the Louisville vs Kentucky basketball game on December 27 will tip at 2:00 p.m. ET. The football game between the two schools will happen on November 29, so these games will happen within 1 month of each other. Thanksgiving could be interesting if you are in a split family!
The writers at CBSsports created a draft for College coaches and the guidelines were as follows:
If you could pick any man to run your college basketball program for the next five years, and you don’t have to worry about that man retiring or changing jobs, which man would you pick? Forget credentials. Forget records and recent results. Only look forward. You can pick any man to run your program for the next five years. Which man would you pick?
Greg Doyle took the bust of the draft John Calipari with the first pick and left our own Rick Pitino for Jeff Borzello at #2.
2. Rick Pitino
Drafted by: Jeff Borzello
Why him? I assumed Doyel was taking Calipari (as I would have done the same thing), so I had my choice narrowed down to two: Sean Miller or Rick Pitino. I think Miller is the better recruiter, Pitino the better coach. After going back and forth, I went with Pitino — primarily because our rules say I don’t need to worry about him retiring or leaving during this five-year span. Pitino consistently trots out teams capable of making the Final Four, whether they’re filled with five-star recruits or under-recruited prospects. To me, Pitino is still the complete package in a head coach. He recruits, he gets guys to buy in to his system, and he always has his team playing its best basketball at the right time. He can play different styles, he can recruit different levels. Miller was a close second in my mind, as I think he’s going to be an absolute star for the next couple decades. — Borzello
The band Phish has a song on their upcoming album that was inspired by a game involving the Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball team. It is called “The Line” and it is dedicated to Darius Washington Jr. Yes you read that right. Nearly ten years later, there is a song that came from that moment.
Will ford, of Louisville.com, wrote this:
Phish is arguably one of the most well-known bands in the world; and it sounds like they know a bit of Louisville basketball history. Phish is a jam band that some people have called “The Grateful Dead of this generation.” Phish first formed at the University of Vermont in the mid-1980s and has retained a cult following since then with their transcendent live concerts.
They have weaved Louisville into a song called “The Line” that will be released on their new studio album called Fuego to be released on June 24.
I have been up since early this morning and in the grand scheme of things, I haven’t gotten one thing done today. I have only listened to local sports talk radio and been on social media keeping up with everything UofL-UK for tonight. But isn’t that what I am supposed to be doing today? I suppose it’s finally time to come up with my prediction post, so here we go…
First of all, the December 28th game at Rupp means nothing to me. For one, it was at Rupp. Russ Smith and Luke Hancock shot a combined 10-31 that game. Speaking of Luke, he wasn’t even starting at the time, Wayne Blackshear was. Mangok Mathiang started and played 22 minutes. Chane Behanan played 20 minutes and played that game knowing he was about to be kicked off of the team. Does any of that sound like the Louisville Cardinals that you have seen recently? We are a completely different team, and yes UK is a little different as well, so that is why the last game doesn’t mean much to me. Actually if I do take anything away from it, I am glad that UK doesn’t have a revenge factor for this game. So they can have that game at Rupp, I’ll take this one tonight.
Kentucky is back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since winning the Championship in 2012
They have won 4 National Championships since 1978
They had the #1 recruiting class this year according to ESPN
John Calipari is coaching in his 9th* Sweet 16
Frank Vogel* (who is cheering for UL this weekend)
Road Through The Tourney:
#9 KSU 56-49 W
#1 Wichita State 78-76 W
#5 Andrew Harrison, 6’6, 215 Lbs, Freshman, Guard
Andrew Harrison was widely regarded as a top 5 player in the class of 2013 with Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, and twin brother Aaron Harrison. In his Freshman year at uk he has put up 11 points per game, 3.8 assists and 0.5 steals per game. Had a season high 26 points vs Tennessee on January 18th. Had a season high 9 assists vs Georgia in the S.E.C. Tournament. Chose Kentucky over Maryland, SMU, Baylor, Kansas and Arizona
So this happened on Thursday afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium, and then the fans captioned it…
Louisville and Kentucky will meet on Friday night in the Sweet 16 in Indianapolis, IN. We all know that already. When the brackets came out, everyone knew this had a realistic chance of happening. And now here we are, just a few days away from Indianapolis not knowing what they got themselves into when they said they would host another Regional.
The Cards and Cats took two different paths to get to this point. Louisville played against a team that resembles them and knew their every move, and they escaped at the end. Then they battled St. Louis in a defensive game and scored enough points to pull away late. Kentucky played a very bad Kansas State team that will probably be playing at the YMCA next week. Then they played the undefeated Wichita State shockers in a very exciting game that was back and forth and they won at the end.
Two teams heading to the Sweet 16. Two of the most storied programs in all of college basketball. Two very different reactions about winning an NCAA Tournament game in the Round of 32.
Pat Forde is one of my favorite journalists of all time. I read the Forde Yard dash regularly and enjoyed it almost every time. Something got in his crawl today and the only thing I can say is *Mic Drop*. I am not sure why this has happened but it has happened. I myself do not condone the trashing of Kentucky and you won’t see anything in my name talking about them in a negative way. I read this however and felt like I should share with all of my readers. Here is the transcript of what he wrote:
You made your bed John Calipari, now lie in it:
by Pat Forde
The results are in, and the winner for biggest villain in UK basketball is…John Calipari!
We did most disliked player last season and DeMarcus Cousins won that one easily. I thought he may win this one too, but Coach Cal took it by a big margin. Here are the results. Thanks to all who voted!
John Calipari – 46.05%
DeMarcus Cousins – 23.68%
Adolph Rupp – 21.05%
Patrick Sparks – 7.89%
Joe B. Hall – 1.32%