Starters Ryan Harrow (Kentucky) and Peyton Siva (Louisville) are at their best when they can break down the opposing defense.
Harrow has continued to improve and is a threat on offense if he remains confident. But Siva has experience. He was the 2012-13 Big East Preseason Player of the Year, and he leads the Cardinals in assists with 6.3 per game.
Likely starters Julius Mays and Russ Smith have polarizing play styles. Mays is a stabilizing influence in the Kentucky offense. He rarely makes mistakes, but he won't take risks either. He always looks for a clean shot.
Smith, on the other hand, has a very quick trigger—and he's having a career year. His 19.7 points per game lead both teams in this contest, and you can bet he'll leave his mark on this game.
Here's the wildcard matchup: Archie Goodwin vs. Wayne Blackshear. Both are likely shooting guards at the next level, and both are great offensive threats. Goodwin is relied upon to create his own shot in the Kentucky offense, whereas Blackshear is a complementary scorer in the Louisville offense.
But Blackshear has flourished in Louisville's past two games. He's scored a combined 35 points on 14-of-25 shooting, going 7-of-14 from beyond the arc. Goodwin, however, has struggled to shoot as of late.
Alex Poythress and Chane Behanan make for another intriguing matchup. Both are 235-plus pounds, and both are multi-talented forwards.
If Poythress stays focused, he'll have the upper hand here. He's capable of dominating games on both ends of the floor. But he's been prone to foul trouble, something Behanan could exploit early on.
If Gorgui Dieng plays, this matchup is tough to call. But his status is unlikely for the Kentucky game. His replacements, Stephan Van Treese and Zach Price, have not had his effectiveness on either side of the ball.
Which gives us Nerlens Noel. He doesn't have much of an offensive game to speak of, but his impact on the defensive end more than makes up for any offensive shortcomings.