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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Battle of the Bluegrass...Louisville and Kentucky WBB face tonight -- Thursday Cardinal Couple



51st CONTEST BETWEEN CATS AND CARDS TIPS AT 7 P.M. TONIGHT


In front of a "Pack the House" crowd in Rupp Arena and SEC Network viewing audience, the Louisville and Kentucky women's basketball teams will do battle at 7 p.m. this evening in Lexington, KY. 

It'll be a battle of the undefeated Cats (7-0) against the rapidly improving Cards (3-4) that UK has won for the last four years. Last year, in the KFC YUM! Center, the Cards roared off to a 13 point lead at halftime but the Cats climbed back in the second half for the 77-68 win. The M&M girls led Louisville in scoring...Myisha had 17 and Mariya 14.


Will Walz break out the checkered shirt
for this one? 
UK leads the series 33-17 overall and comes into tonight's contest after being idle since Dec. 2nd. They went to NKU and survived a shaky first half where they trailed by four to get the 84-65 win over the Norse. 

Louisville comes off a 75-42 Sunday win against Valparaiso in the KFC YUM! Center that put five Cards in double figures. The Cards sprinted off to a 15-0 start in that one and Jeff Walz substituted liberally throughout the contest.

So, who wins tonight? We'll toss a few scenarios out here for consideration.

LOUISVILLE WINS IF...


Radio for this one on 790 WKRD with Matt
and Adrienne. 
-- The Cards can continue the 'theft and three' show they've been putting on over the last two games. The Cards have forced 49 opponent turnovers in the last two games. They also have gone 15-35 from beyond the arc in the last two games for 46%. Taja Cole, Asia Durr and especially Mariya  Moore need to maintain those hot hands. Any help Briahanna Jackson and Arica Carter can provide from the deep would be welcome. 

-- Controlling the boards. Cortnee Walton has been crashing the boards with authority lately but it's actually Hines-Allen who leads the team in rebounds. They could use help tonight from Sam Fuehring and Erin DeGrate tonight to prevent the second chance point opportunities and get the ball back into Louisville's possession. 

-- Defense! Defense! It's the aspect of the Cardinal game that has taken the longest to come around...and against a Wildcat squad that averages 86 p.p.g....it'll be severely tested tonight. If the Cards can hold UK under 70, I like Louisville's chances. 

KENTUCKY WINS IF: 


-- Controlling the guard play. Makayla Epps and Janee Thompson have thrived over the last several seasons against Louisville's guards. The dribble-drive has served UK quite well and if they can establish that successfully tonight, it could be a long night for Louisville. Freshmen Maci Morris and Taylor Murray have provided steady and dependable guard-play so far for UK and must be reckoned with. 

-- Slow down the start and finish strong. Louisville has sprinted out to fast starts against Dayton, Michigan State and Valpo. If UK can turn the tables on that and also be the dominant team in the final ten minutes, they're likely to end up with the "W". 

-- Shoot at their present pace. The Wildcats are shooting 49% for the season and holding opponents to a 32% mark. If they pull off those kind of numbers tonight against the Cards, you'll likely see a Kentucky win. 

ANALYSIS

My success rate at picking winners has been about 5% since September....so I should probably pick UK in a blowout win to ensure a UofL victory. I do see a hard-fought game where the experience of the Cats back-court will match up against the proven M&M duo and the the key to this one could possibly come down to how well recent additions Asia Durr and Briahanna Jackson do in their first appearance in the rivalry game.  

Louisville wants to avoid getting into a track meet against Kentucky and if the Cards can control the tempo and find success with outside shooting they could spring the upset. UK is the most explosive offensive squad that UofL has faced this season...so the improving Cardinal defense must not take a step back tonight. 

It should be a fun one tonight in Lexington. CARDINAL COUPLE will be on-hand and provide you a full game-time report of the action via Twitter (@Cardinal Couple) and in the Friday edition here at the website. 

Give us your prediction in the comments section or via e-mail and we'll make mention of who got the closest in tomorrow's article. For the record, Paulie is saying 68-65 Louisville and Sonja says 77-62 Kentucky. 

paulie
xxxxx


10 comments:

  1. Cats 82 Cards 58. Louisville still not ready for prime time and never does well in Lexington. I HOPE I'M DEAD WRONG.

    Curtis Franklin

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sick of losing this game, no matter if it doesn't really matter more than one early season game. GO CARDS!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I don't like losing to Kentucky but do like the fact that almost always go farther into the tourney brackets than they do.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Will go win a 57-55 Louisville win. Just a hunch. Cats aren't in Memorial and hopefully the Cardinal fans will flock to Lexington to provide some crowd support. Kentucky hasn't seen the likes of Briahanna Jackson this year. They're in for a rude awakening.

    -- The Real Joe Hill --

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hope I'm wrong but I'll go with UK winning 80-70. Won't be the end of the world if Cards lose.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Cats 77 - Cards 56. Little sister loses in Lexington. See you there, Paulie. I'll bring a crying towel for you.

    Matthew Mitchell For Governor

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good idea on that towel Guv. Just bring the one that Mitchell & The Kittens use every year at tourney time, unless it's threadbare...or you could borrow the one your football team has been using although I doubt it's dried out enough yet.

      Your take reminds me of that quote from Maximus in The Gladiator..."The time for honoring yourself will soon be at an end".

      So we'll see.

      Delete
    2. LOL. You should just drop us from your schedule. Five in a row now.

      Matthew Mitchell For Governor

      Delete
  7. Frosh guards Morris and Mirray outscore Durr and Cole 19-7. Cole is not contributing like a highly ranked player

    ReplyDelete
  8. Our freshman class totally all hype no game.
    Three made it on the floor vs KY and one player scored.

    ReplyDelete

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