Remember back to a time when people were really pumped for this day? There was a time in the not-so-distant past when the day before the Kentucky-Louisville game was one filled with nervous energy. If you had friends or work associates who were fans of the Cards, you simply had to win the game in order to secure bragging rights for the rest of the year. Often both teams were very good and you knew that the battle on the floor would be one for the ages. Heroes were made and names were embedded into the collective conscience. Mention Cedric Jenkins, Samaki Walker or Patrick Sparks and you already know what comes to mind. Louisville-Kentucky is a battle unlike any other and the day before the game felt like the beginning of a huge event.
Well at least it usually does. This year, I have never seen such little buildup for the Dream Game. We all know where Kentucky is and there is a bit of optimism around the Kentucky fanbase for the tremendous performance we saw last Monday. But think about Louisville for a second. Their annointed coach had a team that most saw as a Final Four Contender and a few saw as a potential National champion and he has lost four games…..to BYU, Dayton, Purdue and Cincinnati (at home)…..not exactly a murderer’s row. The Louisville fan base is disillusioned about their roster full of idiots and most everyone is growing tired of Pitino’s act. In fact, the biggest storyline going into the game might be what happens if Louisville loses…..four straight losses to UK and the latest with his most talented team and UK’s worst…..and well, that gets ugly.
So why cant we get excited? What is it going to take? I think the Cats not only can win, they have the potential to play very well in doing it. To win the Cats must play well…..Billy Clyde’s insistence on not playing zone means that the Cats cant do what most teams will to Louisville this year….sit back in zone and watch them clank threes. Thus the big 5 must play well and find a way to neutralize the Cards’ one player that we have no matchup for, Earl Clark. With Caracter guarded by Patterson, someone must neutralize Clark….do that and the Cats can win. It is time to get the energy up….Saturday is Louisville for goodness sake….its time to take the Cards down and watch Pitino’s fall…..what could be more perfect for a Kentucky fan than that?