WEDNESDAY night saw the #6 Kentucky Wildcats travel to the #10 Louisville Cardinals home, both in search of their 11th win of the season. A game filled with storylines thanks to each schools rich history didn’t fail to deliver, with the Cards scraping to victory as Malik Monk’s desperation three fell short when time expired. Here’s what we learned.
LOUISVILLE definitely came to play absorbing the energy that their home crowd provided. Easily their best win of the year, the Cardinals rode the hot hand of Quentin Snider who delivered a veteran like performance, along with some help from Deng Adel. Career high’s in points for the two (22 and 18 respectively) were required for them to hang with Kentucky and they stepped up. Take nothing away from Louisville, they won this game and rose to the occasion of a tough rivalry game against a good opponent. They may have outplayed their ceiling though, meaning performances like this may be few and far between.
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FOR all the good things that Louisville did, Kentucky did something bad. The Wildcats struggled to hit a three point shot (5-22) and wasted valuable chances at the free throw line (19-29) that could have seen them claim a win. After an amazing performance in his last game Malik Monk looked anything but, struggling to score especially from behind the arc (1-9). Some positives did come out of the game for the Wildcats though, as big man Edrice ‘Bam-Bam’ Adebayo looked physically dominant inside the paint.
MUCH like in any sport it’s tough to gauge whether a game relatively early in the season means anything, but Louisville deserved to win this game. They stifled the Wildcats offense and provided more energy with a bunch of players rising to the occasion, while Kentucky wasted chances and had guys underperform. The Wildcats are the more talented group, but they can’t afford to waste chances like this if they aspire to climb up the rankings. The Cardinals now improve to 11-1 and with three games against top 25 teams in the next fortnight we will find out if they are the real deal.
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