Tomorrow’s the day. In one of the most anticipated games of the college hoops season, our 12-0 Kentucky Wildcats will face the 11-0 Louisville Cardinals in the Yum! Center at 2 PM. Not only will it feature one of the most heated rivalries in college athletics, tomorrow’s game is the most challenging contest the #1 Wildcats will face for the rest of the season. In a year which many analysts have used the U-word as a possibility for this squad, the outcome of tomorrow’s game takes on an increased significance. The Cardinals have a lot to gain as well; a win against a team that has knocked them out of two of the past three tournaments would be a sweet way to cap off the early part of the season and could potentially make the Cardinals the #1 team in the country. However, beating UK will be a tall task – both figuratively and literally.
Let’s look at some of the top stories concerning the game:
The public likes UK to cover
Depending on where you look, the line for tomorrow’s game opened from anywhere as a pick’em to UK -3. However, it has shifted a bit since then; most books now list Kentucky as a 5-6 point favorite. Clearly, people like Kentucky to win this game more than oddsmakers initially thought. Let’s hope it plays out this way.
The players are ready for a challenge
Compared to previous seasons, Kentucky has a relatively experienced squad that knows how difficult a rivalry game can be. Junior Willie Cauley-Stein described the tension that the Cats will face tomorrow:
“They hate us… Right when you walk in the gym dudes are going to be yelling at you — cussing at you. You just have to smile like, “this is it. This is gametime. This will be fun.”
UK has gone 1-4 in the first true road games of each season during Cal’s tenure. The players know it won’t be easy; hopefully we can reverse the trend.
Coach Cal says it’s just another game
Despite all of the hype, Calipari wants his team to view tomorrow’s contest as just another game in the season.
“It’s the next game for us. They’re all rivalry games to me. It’s another game. We try not to take any team lightly.”
Makes sense, but we all know how big this one will be. Let’s get that dub.
Roger Ayers to ref
If you want to get an early start on complaining about the officiating tomorrow – here’s your chance. Kentucky has lost its last four with Roger Ayers on the floor. Ayers has also given Cal a technical in three of the past six contests he’s officiated. If previous years are any indication, one can expect the refs to employ a tight whistle tomorrow; let’s hope it doesn’t come back to bite the Cats.
Be sure to vote for several former Cats in the NBA All-Star game
In case you hadn’t heard, several former Wildcat are killing it in the NBA this season. The league released its all-star voting earlier this week, and a couple of Kentucky players have been doing well. John Wall is currently the top vote-getter among guards in the East and Anthony Davis is the leader for front-court players in the West. However, there’s still work to do. Demarcus Cousins (arguably the best center in the NBA) is currently 7th among front court players in the West, and Brandon Knight (who has largely put the Milwaukee Bucks in playoff contention) isn’t even in the top 10 in Eastern Conference guards. BBN, VOTE HERE and give our guys some of the respect they deserve.
That’s it for now. See ya’ll tomorrow.