Louisville vs. Kentucky, 2 p.m., ESPN2

The good guys, those representing the University of Louisville, deserve to win this rivalry game. 

UofL has been through some challenging times. But one thing UK fans should never doubt is that Louisville is never going to go away. Emerging stronger than ever from the chaos, much to the disappointment and chagrin of some Wildcat followers.

If the ongoing battles have taught Louisville people anything, it may well be that there are more important concerns for the University’s supporters than the athletic rivalry. Louisville has got to aim much higher in all areas of academia and athletics.

Much more significant aspirations and relevant goals to achieve, improving the outlook for the community and mankind. UofL’s best days are very much ahead of her.

Louisville coughs up another one to Kentucky

Kentucky wins again.  In basketball, of course.

A 75-73 win over the University of Louisville in Lexington.

UofL wasn’t about to sneak up on the Wildcats, not with the adrenalin pumping at industrial strength at Rupp Arena, UK easily playing its best game of the season in front of a crowd of 24,412 partisans.

Making shots they don’t normally take, probably shouldn’t take, drilling 11 of 23 shots from beyond the 3-point line. Thirty footers? Really? UofL would contain Jamal Murray to three of them and 12 points. However, Tyler Ulis would again turn in another game of his life against the Cards, with four 3-pointers among his 21 points.

UK outscoring the Cardinals 11-4 from the free throw lane, making 23 trips compared to 14 for UofL. A rugged, physical game with another home team again enjoying the benefit of the doubt on the physical aspects of the game. Rick Pitino declaring afterwards that he may have to change his philosophy on communicating with officials.

— Best player on both teams was the one who missed what would have been the winning shot at the end. Damion Lee continuing to unveil an endless string of moves, only to miss the fade-away with one second on the clock. Lee would connect on eight of 20 shots, including two 3-pointers, and nine of 10 free throw attempts for game honors with 27 points.

— UofL fans have to be encouraged by the continuing improvement of Chinanu Onuaku who seems to be catching on, playing big against a major opponent. Onuaku pulling down 10 rebounds, scoring nine points, even making a couple of assists. Now if he can learn to stay out of foul trouble, he’s going to be a handful for Atlantic Coast Conference teams.

— Trey Lewis, feeling the heat of the rivalry the overbearing crowd, needing to play under control, with three turnovers. Six of 10 from the field, including two of three from behind the 3-point line, for his 15 points.

— Donovan Mitchell not intimidated on the big stage, progressing nicely, with three field goals and eight points.

— Quinton Snider not making any turnovers but not scoring any points and making only one assist.

It’s debatable whether Kentucky wanted this game more than Louisville. That’s not possible. As Pitino noted after the game, “We hate to lose to these guys.”

Or whether UK will have a better team at the end of the season. However, the Wildcats had the answers they needed on Saturday.

Kentucky snuffs Louisville in just another game

That didn’t work out well. Talent over experience and coaching. A lingering theme in this rivalry.

Some players disappear during big games, some overplay their hand and others don’t show up at all, as was illustrated so clearly in University of Louisville’s 73-66 loss to Kentucky Saturday. Those who didn’t show up will be spared any mention.

  • Russ Smith, the leading scorer with 19 points, maybe trying too hard to impress all the pro scouts in Rupp Arena, too many impossible passes while trying to rack up an impressive assist total. Managing only four assists in the game while committing four costly turnovers. Sometimes you just got to let him go, do his thing. Too much thinking not a good thing.
  • Chris Jones, unfazed by the big time environment, making UofL competitive in the first half, connecting on three of nine three-point attempts, winding up with 18 points. UK apparently figured him out in the second half, and that may have been the key to the win.
  • Luke Hancock will never have a lack of confidence, no matter who UofL is playing in any situation. He may, however, still be having problems with that Achilles’ heal, badly affecting his stability and accuracy.

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