--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Seth Spalding
Tomorrow, the Louisville Cardinals take on their arch rival: Kentucky.
Louisville is 19-34 all-time against the Wildcats. The Cards are 5-6 under Jeff Walz. But the Cardinals have won two years in a row, most recently defeating the Cats 87-63 in Lexington.
Previewing the matchup
Kentucky is on a rebound year, after a disappointing 2017-18; where they finished 15-17. The Wildcats are 9-0 thus far this season. The record, and 16th overall scoring margin (24.7), led to a 19th-overall ranking. Kentucky hasn’t beat a ranked opponent this year.
The Wildcats are a decent at shooting. They hit .405 from the field, and .400 beyond the arc. Kentucky averages 80 points per game, and holds opponents to 55.2.
Freshman guard Rhyne Howard leads the team in scoring, with 18.2 points per game She also leads the team in rebounding. Maci Morris and Taylor Murray are the two other Wildcats that average double-digits in scoring.
But the Cardinals are better in some key areas. Louisville is hitting over 50 percent from the field, and 40.5 percent from three. The Cardinals also have a higher free-throw percentage, rebound average, and rebound margin.
Louisville will need to be strong off the glass. The Cardinals could capitalize off Kentucky’s negative rebound margin. The Cardinals also need to be careful with the ball- Kentucky is first in the nation in turnover margin, and fourth in forced turnovers.
What to expect
The game is a top-25 matchup between undefeated teams. This, in addition to the rivalry; will make the game an entertaining Saturday matchup.
Many promotions are taking place to pack the house against the Wildcats. The game is a Red Out, and a Kroger Pack the House game. Fans can show their Kroger Plus Card at the ticket office to receive $4 tickets. Fans can additionally present a toy to the ticket window and receive a $4 ticket. The toys go to the Family Scholar House Toy Drive.
Louisville’s experience will lead the Cardinals against the Wildcats. The game will be close, but if the Cardinals grab a ton of balls off the glass, and keep turnovers to a minimum; the Cardinals should win easily.
My prediction: Louisville 87, Kentucky 78