yes this is an actual player on the Louisville team.
Ok, we are a little over three hours from tip and we might as well play a little contrarian. For the past week, we have been giving our general opinion on the game, which is simple: the Cats are better and they will win. But just for sake of argument, is there a scenario in which Louisville can steal the upset? The short answer is yes, but four things have to happen and none can be left out.
1. Louisville Gets Hot from the Three Point Line
If this Kentucky team has one weakness, it is guarding the three pointer. We have seen team after team come into Rupp Arena, find a guy to get hot, and a career night takes place inside the hallowed halls. Louisville probably needs for this to happen to two guys for them to have a chance to pull the shocker. They will get some open looks…they HAVE to make them.
2. Cousins AND Wall/Patterson Get in Foul Trouble:
Boogie has had problems with fouls all year and if this game follows suit to the last few, then he may have them again. Thats ok…Louisville is weak inside outside of Samuels and the Cats can afford one loss. But if Cousins gets in foul trouble and then either Wall or Patterson join him, then the offensive firepower on UK is severely depleted. The Cats have three stars, and can beat Louisville with two of them…if they only have one, it becomes tougher. UL has to hope for that to occur.
3. Poor Shooting from Bledsoe/Miller/Dodson
Wall will get his points…Patterson will get his and if Cousins stays in the game, he will ge this. But what makes Kentucky unguardable is when one of the above three guys is hot from the three point line. In games where all have struggled (Stanford), pedestrian teams have taken UK to the finish line. In games where they have shot well (Hartford, Rider, Drexel), teams have gotten waxed. If one hits the open looks they WILL get, game over.
4. Edgar Sosa Must Have the game of his Life
If I were a Louisville fan it would drive me crazy, but Sosa is the key to this team. As he goes, so go the Cards. He must find a way to hit open threes, contain John Wall from going wild and be a leader on a team that has at times looked like a rudderless ship. That is a lot to ask for a guy who has shown such little consistency in his career. But today he has to get there.
Those are four components, and the Cards cant afford to do without one of them. Some are in their hands and some are just the product of good fortune. I look at games from a gambler’s perspective and ask myself, “if they played 20 times, what would happen?” I break the game down like this:
6 times UK waxes Louisville by 18 plus
6 times they win comfortably by 8-18
5 times the game is close but UK wins in the end by 4-8
3 times the game is in doubt with three minutes to play.
I really believe Louisville has a 15% chance of walking on the floor after the last tv timeout in a play-by-play chance to win the game…that is similar to the 20% chance I gave Kentucky of being in a similar situation last year. Last year that scenario came into being and the Cats had a chance to win. I play the numbers and will take the 85% chance that the Cats win by a number greater than 4. I will guess and say the Cats by 13. Either way, we shall see and it is guaranteed to be fun.
LIVE BLOG begins at 3 pm with special guest GREGG DOYEL. Come join us as we pull the Cats to victory.