2009 NCAA Mens Basketball. The Kentucky WIldcats (11-3) travel to Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky to take on in-state rival, the #18 Louisville Cardinals (8-3)on Sunday, January 4th, 2009. The Wildcats enter the game on a six game winning streak and looking for another NCAA tournament resume win over the Cardinals to complement the win over West Virginia earlier in the season. The Cardinals enter the game on a bit of a skid, having lost two of there last three games against Minnesota(70-64) and UNLV(56-55) respectfully. Louisville Coach Rick Pitino will be looking to use the Kentucky game to jump-start his Cardinals before entering Big East Play this January.
Kentucky Wildcats Trends
Kentucky enters the Louisville game let by junior guard, Jodi Meeks (24.1 points per game) and sophomore forward, Patrick Patterson (19.1 ppg, 9.4 rebounds per game). The Cats have been looking for a consistent third scorer this season as opponents focus greater on stopping Meeks and Patterson. Kentucky has had spurts of excellence from guard DeAndre Liggins, and forwards Perry Stevenson, Josh Harrellson, Darius Miller, and Ramon Harris, but none has stepped up on a consistent basis to be the third scoring threat for the Wildcats. Kentucky Coach Gillespie will be looking for more consistent three point shooting from his team against the Cardinals in order to open up the inside game for Patterson, Harrellson, and Stevenson.
Louisville Cardinals Trends
Louisville started the season ranked number three in the nation, but have since dropped to their current #18 ranking. The Cardinals took down the Wildcats in last season’s meeting in Lexington, KY, 89-75, and finished the season in the NCAA tournament finals. The Cardinals are led by Forward, Samardo Samuels (14.7 ppg, 7 rbg), Guard Earl Clark (13.1ppg, 8.6 rpg), and Forward Terrence Williams (11.6 ppg, 8.8 rpg). Similar to the Wildcats, the Cardinals losses have come when they have been cold shooting from the field. A key to their performance against the Wildcats on Sunday will be how well the Louisville front court can perform against Patterson and the Cats in the paint.
Louisville – Kentucky Game Predictions
The Cardinals and Wildcats both enter the 2009 annual matchup between the two in-state rivals needing a win to head into conference play. The Cardinals are favorites in this game, but the Wildcats have been on fire the last five games. Prediction – THe WIldcats upset the Cardinals this Sunday in Louisville, Ky.