The Kentucky Wildcats will host their biggest rival this week when the Louisville Cardinals come to Rupp Arena. Both teams come into this game in desperate need of a win after so-so starts. UK enters the game at 9-2 and coming off a bad loss to UCLA. Despite leading by as many as eight in the first half, the Cats couldn’t keep up with the Bruins leading to an 83-75 defeat.
Making matters worse for the Cats is their resume is severely lacking quality non-conference wins. That’s put a bigger importance on beating the Cardinals this week for a resume-boosting win. Louisville comes into this game at 10-2, including six-straight wins. However, the Cardinals’ resume is mostly cupcake wins, so they could use a win over a ranked UK team to really boost their resume as well. However, Louisville’s two losses are quality ones against Seton Hall (16) and at Purdue (11). The Cards are still a relative unknown under interim head coach David Padgett.
According to stats, UK is the better offensive team thus far, but Louisville is easily the better defensive teams. That’s not saying much though if you’ve seen UK’s defense thus far, which has been severely lacking. It was nonexistent in the loss to UCLA, and it will need to improve dramatically for UK to consistently beat good teams. That begins this week with Louisville, or else, the Cats could be riding a two-game skid into SEC play.