In the state of Kentucky, 363 days out of the year, all people get along. The other two days out of the year, blue and red are mortal enemies to say the least.
Going into the 2008-2009 basketball year, Louisville was ranked at number three in the polls and looking towards a national title, while Kentucky was outside the top-25 poll since 1990.
Last year, Louisville went into Rupp Arena and handed Kentucky a 89-75 loss. The score was a little deceiving because Kentucky was never in the game from tip-off to the final buzzer.
Louisville did a great job of containing a young Patrick Patterson. Patterson shot three for 14 and finished with a career low, six points.
The last two times that Kentucky guard Jodie Meeks has been to Freedom Hall, he is averaging 32 points a game and shooting 13-21 from three point land.
This year, Kentucky and Patrick Patterson must be ready for a battle in Freedom Hall. Louisville will sure bring the heat, considering its last home game was a lost to UNLV on Wednesday night.
Now a look at the University of Louisville Cardinals:
- Name- Points per game, rebounds per game, assists per game
- Terrence Williams- 11.6 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 5.0 apg
- Preston Knowles- 7.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.0 apg
- Earl Clark- 13.1 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 3.0 apg
- Edgar Sosa- 5.0 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 2.7 apg
- Chris Brickley- N/A
- Reginald Delk- 1.5 ppg, 0.9 rpg, 0.5 apg
- Kyle Kuric- 2.7 ppg, 1,2 rpg, 0.3 apg
- Will Scott- 4.3 ppg, 0.7 rpg, 0.3 apg
- Jared Swopshire- 2,5 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 0.4 apg
- George Goode- 2.0 ppg, 1,8 rpg, 0.3 apg
- Terrence Jennings- 2.3 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 0.4 apg
- Samardo Samuels- 14.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.1 apg
- Lee Steiden- N/A
- Andre McGee- 5.5 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.7 apg
- Jerry Smith- 7.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.3 apg
- Louisville Cardinals-76.2 ppg, 41.9 rpg, 17.5 apg
For a victory, Kentucky must apply pressure on defense to Louisville. In all of the three lose games for Louisville, the opponent has harassed the Louisville offense and kept them out of sync for most of the game.
Keep control of the ball and make smart decisions with the rock in their hands. Make Louisville guard each and every one of them. If Louisville can double team either Patterson or Jodie Meeks, the other Cats must prove that they can handle the pressure.
They must play a full 40 minute game and not just a half. For some of the season, Kentucky has done just that, but other times it has went limp in the first half and dug to deep of a hole to get out of in the second half.
It is very noticeable when watching the Louisville center, Samardo Samuels, that if given even a hint of pressure on him, he folds under the pressure. You can also say that to the Louisville point guards as well.
Kentucky isn't perfect in its own regards. It can come out and flop like it did at the start of the year. If Kentucky does a hint of what has been said, it can win the game on Sunday.
This game is too close to call on how both teams are playing right now and how they can play. This is called a rivalry game for a reason. You never know what will happen and when it will happen when Kentucky takes on the hated Louisville Cardinals.
My personal guess would be that Rick Pitino and Billy Gillispie will have their squads ready for battle on Sunday. Patrick Patterson and Jodie Meeks will power Kentucky over Louisville in a close game: UK-73, UL-69