UK vs U of L: The Must See Videos Before the Game

Game time: 2:05 p.m. Site: KFC Yum! Center. Line:Kentucky by 4 1/2 points. Series: Kentucky leads 32-15 and won the last meeting, 74-69, last season in the Sweet 16 in Indianapolis. Television: ESPN2 (Dan Shulman and Jay Bilas). Radio: WKRD-790 (U of L call); WHAS-840 and WAKY-103.5 (UK call).

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UK (12-0)

Pos.-Player Ht. Cl. Rb. Pts.

G-Andrew Harrison 6-6 So. 2.1 7.7

G-Aaron Harrison 6-6 So. 2.0 10.6

F-Trey Lyles 6-10 Fr. 5.5 7.9

F-Karl-Anthony Towns 6-11 Fr. 6.6 8.1

F-Willie Cauley-Stein 7-0 Jr. 6.7 10.5

Key reserves – Devin Booker, G, 6-6, Fr., 10.0 pts.; Dakari Johnson, C, 7-0, So., 8.8; Tyler Ulis, G, 5-9, 5.0; Marcus Lee, F, 6-9, So., 3.3; Derek Willis, F, 6-9, So., 3.1; Dominique Hawkins, G, 6-0, So., 1.3.

Louisville (11-0)

Pos.-Player Ht. Cl. Rb. Pts.

G-Chris Jones 5-10 Sr. 4.1 12.3

G-Terry Rozier 6-1 So. 5.5 16.7

F-Wayne Blackshear 6-5 Sr. 6.1 13.7

F-Montrezl Harrell 6-8 Jr. 10.0 16.7

C-Chinanu Onuaku 6-10 Fr. 5.8 4.6

Key reserves – Mangok Mathiang, C, 6-10, R-So., 3.3 pts.; Anton Gill, G, 6-3, So., 3.6; Quentin Snider, G, 6-1, Fr., 2.5; David Levitch, G, 6-3, So., 2.5; Jaylen Johnson, F, 6-9, Fr., 1.8; Anas Mahmoud, F, 7-0, Fr., 1.9; Matz Stockman*, C, 7-0, 1.3; Shaqquan Aaron, G/F, 6-7, Fr., 0.0. * – Stockman’s likely out with a knee injury.

KEY MATCHUPS

The guards. For Louisville, no two players appear to be more important to the Cards’ chances on Saturday than Terry Rozier and Chris Jones. Not just their ability to make shots, but their ability to create turnovers and on-ball pressure on defense and then drive and create open shots for teammates on offense. Rozier’s been a fantastic scorer, particularly over the past five games, but Jones needs to elevate his game. For Kentucky, the Harrison twins have some help from Tyler Ulis, whose speed and cunning will play a big part in breaking U of L’s fullcourt press. UK’s recent run of improved 3-point shooting will help, too. And the Wildcats’ depth on the wings, though not quite as heralded as the frontcourt, could be a decisive factor.

Rick Pitino vs. John Calipari. Their all-time record, including a half-dozen NBA meetings, is much closer (and was dead even heading into last season). Calipari holds a 14-12 edge. But since he’s been at Kentucky, it’s been a lopsided series. As the Wildcats’ coach, Calipari has beaten Pitino and Louisville in 6 of 7 meetings. Calipari has knocked the Cardinals out of the NCAA Tournament twice in the last three seasons (Final Four in 2012, Sweet 16 in 2014). Pitino’s only win in that span was at home in the 2012-13 season, which was Calipari’s worst UK team (lost in the first round of the NIT). “I don’t think he’s worried about it,” Calipari said. “All he wants to do is win this one. I think we’re all the same. I don’t go against a coach and say, ‘How many times has he beaten me?’ I’ve been beaten plenty of times and have had some shellackings in there. But I don’t think he’s worried about it, and certainly I’m not worried about it.”

Cats vs. Cards’ pressure. Kentucky has taken good care of the ball, averaging just 11.3 turnovers per game and a plus-5.7 turnover margin so far, but the Cardinals’ press will provide a serious test. Louisville ranks fourth nationally in steals. “They’re going to try to put pressure on us and we have to be strong with the ball to be successful,” said point guard Andrew Harrison, who had seven assists and just two turnovers in a Sweet 16 win over the Cards last season. “Dominique Hawkins and EJ (Floreal), they’re both as great of athletes as anybody can have, so they really helped us in practice putting pressure on the ball and stuff like that. They really helped us.” That was likely a part of the prep for Saturday’s game, too. “Two good, strong athletes,” Calipari said, “who get up on you and body you.”

Last year’s Sweet 16 game…

Sosa with the 30 footer…

2004 UK vs U of L the final minute

RickPitinoInk

Written by Zac Porter

Zac Porter

Zac Porter is a contributing writer for WJS and three other online websites. Zac is an avid fan of the Los Angeles Clippers, Lob City, and a die hard fan and alumni of the UCLA Bruins. Zac has been with WJS since it’s inception but briefly left to finish his education. Now a graduate and on the path to even greater success, follow Zac for all your basketball needs, and of course the John Wooden Pyramid of Success.