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Game Preview: Louisville Cardinals

The 56th annual Battle of the Bluegrass takes place tomorrow as the 'Cats make the short drive to Louisville to take on the Cards. Kentucky leads the all-time series 38-17 and looks to continue the recent success as well.

It has been a rough year for former Kentucky assistant and Louisville head coach Kenny Payne. Sitting at 5-6 with bad losses such as Chattanooga, Depaul, and Arkansas State, Kenny Payne's coaching future hangs in the balance. The once amazing hire has become a disaster in a short amount of time. It's not controversial at all to say he could literally be the worst head coaching hire in college basketball history. It's comical how bad it has been.

Louisville is averaging 75 points per game and shooting 41% from the field and 28% from te three. The Cards' offense has been less than satisfactory, and there are some familiar faces on the Louisville roster. One-time Kentucky commit Skyy Clark is the starting point guard, and probably the best player for Louisville. He is averaging 15 points a game. The starting big man, Brandon Huntley-Hatfield, is the cousin of Alex Poythress and was also a Kentucky recruit at one point in time.

This game is expected to not be much of a game from the opposing side. Kentucky is at basically full strength and is coming off a top-10 win in Atlanta in over North Carolina while Louisville is having one of their worst seasons of all-time, nearly matching last year's worst record in program history. Not to get lost in the mix of all of this, but there's a good chance they won't even have the same coach here soon. It's no doubt Kenny is on the front row hot seat within the Yum! Center.

But, to be fair, it is a rivalry game so anything can happen in the grand scheme of things, so let's make sure it doesn't. I don't think there's a chance it does but is it possible? Well, of course, any upset is. Kentucky's keys to the game are pretty simple though. Louisville's defense is pretty atrocious, so the 'Cats will get whatever shot they want and need to take advantage of that. Louisville also doesn't have much size so it should be a good day for the big men under the rim. As long as Kentucky makes the shots Louisville gives them and rebounds like they should, I truly do not see many ways Kentucky lets them stay in the game. Take the tempo from the jump and never ease up.

It is easy to assume that Cal will not run up the score on his friend and former assistant, Kenny Payne, but hopefully, we can win by 20+ and not leave any room for error. We shall see what he allows. The game will tip off tonight at 6:00 P.M. in downtown Louisville. A major Kentucky turnout is expected in hopes to spoil Louisville's "Red Out" attempt. Let's keep this train rolling.

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