It shouldn’t take much to wake you up this morning. We’re only three hours away from Kentucky vs. Louisville in Rupp Arena.
The 2015 matchup doesn’t have the usual hype. The day-after-Christmas timing surely doesn’t help add hate to the rivalry. Neither does a noon tip-off. The way the season has gone has also created a useless, yet powerful anxiety in the BBN. Heading into the season, this game was practically a double-digit guarantee. Then Kentucky played poorly in L.A. and Brooklyn, while Louisville ran through some awful teams and played Michigan State close on the road.
There will always be an anxiety entering the game, but this feels different. There is a fear of losing to the Cards, not like at the 2012 Final Four, but if this is indeed Pitino’s last year at Louisville, it would be a kick to the groin to watch him leave Rupp with a win. There’s also serious seeding implications that could occur with a loss that could potentially keep Kentucky out of the NCAA Regional at the Yum! Center. But the Cards are without Mangok Mathiang, taking away from their only certain strength.
The game is practically a toss up, until you remember the enduring word from JT, “Cal’s got this.”
Some Need to Know Numbers
While most may not have a direct impact on the game, at least you’ll receive some reassurance.
- 7-1, Calipari’s record vs. Rick Pitino in the UK/UofL Rivalry.
- 33-15, UK leads the all-time series between the two.
- 14-2, UK’s advantage over UofL in the series when both teams are ranked.
- 17-5, UK’s record vs. Louisville in Rupp.
- 4, times John Calipari has lost in Rupp Arena.
- 13, Pro Scouts in attendance.
- 200, the number of wins Coach Cal will have as UK head coach with a win tomorrow, the fastest UK Head Coach to reach the milestone.
“John Calipari owns Rick Pitino”
The BBN knows the record between the two very well, but that quote comes from one of Calipari’s biggest detractors: former Sports Talk 840 host and current WLKY.com columnist, Lachlan McLean. Lach can hardly stand to listen to a Calipari presser, but he’s not an idiot, he knows Rick simply can’t beat Cal. No matter how many numbers you throw out there, none of them matter when Cal is coaching against Rick because Cal owns Rick. His lengthy piece is wonderful because he repeats the phrase “Cal owns Rick” about as often as we’ve said them on the site leading up to today’s game.
Kentucky is a 2.5-Point Favorite
The last time Kentucky was 2.5-point favorite over Louisville? A year ago when the #1 Cats beat 4th-ranked Louisville 58-50 at the Yum! Center. I like the mojo, but betting on the Cats isn’t the smartest move. The only time the Cats have covered or beaten the spread in the last 8 games, UK beat Arizona State by 14 on a 13-point spread. Your nerves are going to be bad enough, don’t give yourself a heart attack by throwing your Christmas money at this game.
The Locker Room is Ready
The UK Equipment Staff couldn’t afford to take Christmas off.
Enough Predictions to Make Your Head Spin
More than 50 “experts” gave The Courier-Journal their pick for today’s game. About 15 more people believe in blue over the ridiculous red, but the only prediction that really matters is Dickie V’s. Vitale believes in Rupp’s homecourt advantage; Kentucky-70, Louisville-65.
The Game will be a Snapchat LIVE Story
It will be the first time a regular season college basketball game has ever been a Snapchat “Live Story.” For those that are unfamiliar with Snapchat and think it’s just for sending nudes, you’re wrong. The Live Story feature highlights events from around the world, allowing every user to see what’s going on at a particular event from a different vantage point. If you’re in the vicinity of Rupp tomorrow and want the chance to be Snapchat famous, there’s an idiot-proof process to send pictures and videos to the Live Story.
If Drew Franklin doesn’t make the Live Story, I will don’t know if I’ll feel more shock or disappointment.
Enjoy These Early Season Highlights
Don’t let the Christmas spirit leave you so quickly. WKYT’s Lee K. Howard threw in some jingle bells with the best of the best from the first half of the season.
A Saturday Full of Bowl Games
UK/UofL gets all of the attention from the college basketball world, because it’s the only game. The rest of the day is reserved for college football, along with an NFL Nightcap.
- UConn vs. Marshall in the St. Petersburg Bowl, 11:00 am on ESPN.
- Miami vs. Washington State in the Sun Bowl, 2:00 on CBS, following the Cats and Cards.
- Washington vs. Southern Miss in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, 2:20 on ESPN.
- Indiana vs. Duke in the Pinstripe Bowl, 3:30 on ABC.
- Tulsa vs. Virginia Tech in the Independence Bowl, 5:45 on ESPN.
- UCLA vs. Nebraska in the Foster Farms Bowl. 9:15 on ESPN.