Kentucky vs. Louisville Prediction, Game Preview

    Kentucky vs. Louisville prediction and game preview for when the Wildcats host the Cardinals in Rupp Arena.

    December 25, 2015

    The Kentucky Wildcats will be at home in Lexington, Ky. to host the Louisville Cardinals in Rupp Arena. Below is the Kentucky vs. Louisville prediction and game preview.

    Kentucky vs. Louisville Game Preview

    Game Broadcast

    Date: Saturday, Dec. 26
    Game Time: 12:00 p.m. ET
    Venue: Rupp Arena, Lexington, Ky.
    Network: CBS

    Why You Need To Care

    It’s that time of year again — time to watch the battle for the Governor’s Cup. Kentucky comes into the matchup ranked at No. 12 while Louisville is sitting at No. 16.

    The Wildcats need to pick up a win after losing their second game of the season. Ohio State upset Kentucky on Saturday, 74-67.

    The Cardinals, on the other hand, have only one loss. That came on the road against Michigan State, 71-67, back on Dec. 2. But Louisville is coming off a win over Utah Valley, 98-68, on Wednesday.

    The series is still in the Wildcats’ favor, 33-15, and they’ve won the last three meetings — including a battle in the Sweet 16 two seasons ago that ended in a 74-69 victory.

    Why Kentucky Will Win

    John Calipari got a big performance from one of his freshmen in the loss to Ohio State. Jamal Murray went off for 33 points and hit 7-of-9 from behind the arc. But the Wildcats need more production from everyone else to beat Louisville, who allows the second-fewest points in the nation at 55.9 per game. Skal Labissiere needs to wreak havoc down low to help establish a post threat for Kentucky — someone to snatch boards on both ends and swat shots. Labissiere also needs more than just the two points and five rebounds he put up against the Buckeyes. He has to get it going.

    Why Louisville Will Win

    Rick Pitino needs his guys to play as hard as Ohio State did against Kentucky — if not harder. Murray was the only one who could get it going, so maybe that’s what the Cardinals should do in this matchup. Murray’s good enough to get to the rim and knock down a fair amount of threes anyway, so apply pressure to everyone else and hope Murray is off the mark. The rest of Kentucky’s starting five shot 8-of-32 from the field in that game, so it’s definitely something Louisville can take advantage of. But the Cardinals will need Trey Lewis, Quentin Snider and Damion Lee to get the offense flowing early while they force the Wildcats to hit triples.

    What’s Going To Happen?

    Kentucky won’t hit a ton of threes, but it will get to the basket with Murray and Isaiah Briscoe leading the way. Labissiere will continue to underwhelm, and Chinanu Onuaku will flirt with a double-double. Louisville will force the Wildcats into some contested jumpers and force some turnovers to piece together some scoring runs, but Kentucky will win the rebounding battle and hit timely shots to win the game — a close, close game.

    Kentucky vs. Louisville Prediction

    Kentucky 73, Louisville 71

    Line: Kentucky -2.5, o/u: 141.5


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