In one of the biggest rivalries in college basketball, #3 Kentucky (13-1) defeated #4 Louisville (12-2) 69-62 this afternoon at the Rupp Arena in Lexington. The Wildcats were led by dynamic play of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who led Kentucky with 24 points and 15 rebounds.
The game did not start out well for the Cardinals, as forward Chane Benahan received three fouls within the first five minutes. Not having Benahan in the game for the rest of the first half allowed for Kentucky to amass a huge rebounding advantage (32-18 for the game) and to a lack of frontcourt depth due to injuries.
Despite of the horrible rebounding, Louisville stayed in the game with the play of guard Russ Smith. Smith almost scored half of the team's points by ending up with 30. No other Louisville player was in double figures.
The lack of scoring was due to a combination of good defense and bad shooting. Both teams usually shoot three-pointers well, but both teams were horrendous as Louisville was 4-23, while Kentucky was 3-20. Maybe the coaches should have told their players to stop shooting three's because the spectators were tired of seeing all of the bricklaying.
For Kentucky, this win should propel them into SEC play with confidence. It has been a tough week for Louisville because they lost to Georgetown Wednesday night. It does not get easier for Louisville because they play in the Big East.