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Kentucky vs. Louisville: Keys for Both Teams to Secure Final Four Win

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 25:  Head coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats reacts against the Baylor Bears during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball South Regional Final at the Georgia Dome on March 25, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Adam WellsFeatured Columnist IVDecember 14, 2014

When the Final Four tips off on Saturday night, all eyes will be on Kentucky and Louisville. All due respect to Ohio State and Kansas, but the Wildcats and Cardinals is a matchup riddled with storylines that make it a casual NCAA Tournament fan's dream. 

The biggest story that everyone will be paying attention to is Rick Pitino vs. John Calipari. These two have a very contentious history, even if they try to spin it as there is no animosity. 

But when the game gets going, all that matters is what happens on the court. The players will control the outcome more than the coaches. 

With that in mind, here is what both teams must do in order to punch their ticket to Monday's national championship game. 

 

Kentucky

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 25:  Anthony Davis #23 of the Kentucky Wildcats shoots against the Baylor Bears during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball South Regional Final at the Georgia Dome on March 25, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Force Louisville to run with them and exert their will on offense. 

The Wildcats have a distinct advantage over Louisville in talent and sheer athleticism. They have been able to run up and down the court against everyone they have played thus far. 

Offensively, there is no way that the Cardinals can keep up with them. They are not fast enough, nor do they have the shooters to put the ball in the basket. 

As long as Kentucky is able to get out in transition early, forcing Louisville to make a lot of plays early, John Calipari will be dancing all the way to the national title game. 

 

Louisville

PORTLAND, OR - MARCH 15:  Head coach Rick Pitino of the Louisville Cardinals reacts in the first half while taking on the Davidson Wildcats in the second round of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Rose Garden Arena on March 15, 2012 in Portland
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Keep the tempo slow and force Kentucky into taking bad shots. 

There is no way that the Cardinals can keep up with Kentucky's offensive firepower. They didn't make it to this point because they can score. Rick Pitino has built this team on defense. 

Nothing about the way this Louisville team plays is going to make fans happy. Instead of coming out all guns blazing, the Cardinals want to slow the tempo and play hard, physical defense that forces opponents to take bad shots. 

Louisville has to be able to keep the game close early because it isn't strong enough to put together a lot of points in a hurry. 

 


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