(AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
It’s here. The top 10 showdown between the University of Kentucky Wildcats and University of Louisville Cardinals that everyone’s been waiting for…well…since last time these two teams matched up. Both teams are undefeated. The Cats are ranked 7th, and the Cards are ranked 4th coming off of a national championship runner-up season a year ago. It’s gonna be a blood-bath. Are you ready?
The Cats have five players averaging double-figures in scoring, including Samarie Walker who is averaging a double-double, but they have yet to face as stout of a defense as that that Louisville brings to the table. The two teams are very similar with their constant pressure mentality and always rank near the top of the nation in defensive efficiency. The Cards also have four players averaging double-digits, including star guard Shoni Schimmel. It will need to be a colloborative effort from the Wildcats as Louisville will surely try to pack the paint in to guard All-American candidate DeNesha Stallworth from scoring anything inside. Guards Kastine Evans, Janee Thompson, Bria Goss, and Jen O’Neill will have to knock down their open opportunities from behind the arc to generate offense for Kentucky.
Coach Mitchell talked of the importance of today’s game for both programs by saying, “I think any time we get together in any sport it’s certainly important for our fans, so no matter what the records are I think it’s an important game, very important for us at Kentucky. Now, you put in the mix that both teams are really playing at a high level, highly thought of around the country. It’s still very early in the season, but where we are right now, both teams are in the top 10 and it’s an important game.”
Expect a fast paced, brutal, extremely physical game. With a packed house in Memorial, it’s sure to get loud, and maybe a little ugly…but isn’t that what this rivalry is all about? This begins a tough stretch for UK Hoops, who play four top 25 teams this coming month. I already have knots in my stomach….
Last season when these two teams matched up in Louisville, Kentucky overcame a 16 point deficit in the second half to rally, and defeat the Cardinals with last minute 3-point jumper from Janee Thompson. The Wildcats have won the past three meetings in the series, and lead it overall 31-18. Hayley and I will be here on KSR with a live diary starting at 1, so make sure to tune in as we fight the urge to cheer and throw things at Louisville head coach Jeff Walz.
It’s already been announced as a sellout, so unless you are carrying a ticket with ya, be sure to tune in to this “instant classic” on Fox Sports South, UK IMG Network, or online as Neil Price has the call. CATS.
@WilderTreadKSR Tweet Hayley and I if you’re at the game, or with any snide remarks you have about Louisville. Let’s do this.