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As demonstrated during the last Kentucky-Louisville game in Lexington on December 31, 2011, when these two teams collide some very interesting matchups are created.
The game was a defensive struggle, as neither team shot above 33 percent and Kentucky was able to pull it out thanks to a distinct advantage at the foul line. Kentucky shot 32-43, while Louisville went 18-27 en route to a 69-62 home win for the Wildcats.
No Louisville starter had more than eight points as Teague and Siva effectively cancelled each other out, both had a few turnovers and little impact. Foul trouble severely affected everyone from Chane Behanan to Doron Lamb in a game that was decided from the charity stripe.
However, there were a few notables in this game that will certainly be revisited by analysts in the next week and could decide which team is in the national championship game.
Despite foul trouble, Gorgui Dieng was able to block six shots and though Kentucky's big men had stellar games, Dieng's presence around the basket was crucial for Louisville as they rallied to keep the game competitive throughout.
Anthony Davis also notched six blocks, not to mention the 18 points and 10 rebounds he had while making 12 of 13 attempts from the line.
Davis and Dieng will likely be guarding each other throughout the game.
Dieng's offensive play is not particularly polished, but someone of his strength and size could at least bother Davis.
He doesn't have to match Davis' output and likely can't, but if he can frustrate the freshman forward, that will be a coup for Louisville.
In addition, Kentucky simply had no answer for Russ Smith.
He scored a career high 30 points in 27 minutes, while also notching three steals and five boards.
Smith shot the ball at will, connecting on half of his 20 attempts including a crucial four-point play in the second half.
Smith has been playing extremely well the last three games, scoring 17, 11 and 19 points respectively as Louisville has chugged past New Mexico, Florida and Michigan State.
If he's hitting shots while not necessarily clogging the ball movement, Smith could absolutely be the X-factor that swings the game in the Cardinals' favor.
For Kentucky, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had one of the best games of anyone this college season—24 points and 19 boards in 39 minutes.
None of the forwards on Louisville could contain Gilchrist as he attacked the basket with tenacity, proving to be the overall difference.
Whoever is assigned to MKG must do a better job of boxing him out and keeping him from getting on the glass. He was a major reason Louisville was out-rebounded 28-49 in the loss.
This game features several key players that could decide the outcome and will be fascinating to watch out on the court. Smith, Dieng, Davis and Kidd-Gilchrist are all great talents that will be pouring their hearts into every minute of action.