Dec. 28, 2012
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - One of the most storied rivalries in college basketball continues on Saturday, Dec. 29, as the University of Louisville men’s basketball team plays host to No. 23 Kentucky in the KFC Yum! Center at 4:05 p.m. ET.
The 45th matchup between the two programs will air on CBS, as Tim Brando (play-by-play), Clark Kellogg (analyst) and Greg Anthony (analyst) call the action. Fans can listen to the radio portion of the broadcast on WKRD 790 AM, with Paul Rogers (play-by-play) and Bob Valvano (analyst) on the call.
The Cardinals, ranked third in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll and fourth by the Associated Press, have won their last six games. Louisville, which is averaging 82 points over that span, is shooting 48.4 percent from the field and has knocked down nearly seven treys a game. The Cardinals hold a +9.8 turnover margin, average 12.2 steals per game and are holding opponents to 39.5 percent from the field, including a 25.2 stint from 3-point range.
Russ Smith, who is averaging more than 20 points per game in the Cardinals’ last six victories, recorded a game-high 20 points in Louisville’s last game, a 78-55 decision over Western Kentucky on Dec. 22. Smith went 11 of 13 from the charity stripe. Wayne Blackshear netted 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting, going 3-of-6 from 3-point range. Montrezl Harrell chipped in with 13 points, six rebounds and a game-best four blocks. Western Kentucky, which committed 20 turnovers, shot just 38.8 percent from the field and was held to 22 points in the first half.
Statistically, the Cardinals continue to hold the top national ranking in turnover margin (+8.6), while also ranking in the top 15 in multiple other categories: steals per game (No. 2 at 11.8), scoring margin (No. 4 at 22.6), win-loss percentage (No. 11 at 91.7) and scoring defense (No. 13 at 55.5).
No. 23 Kentucky enters Saturday’s contest with an 8-3 overall mark, most recently earning an 82-54 decision over Marshall on Dec. 22. Ryan Harrow led all scorers with 23 points in the win, going 10-of-17 from the field, while also totaling four assists and three steals. Archie Goodwin had 18 points and Nerlens Noel chipped in with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Marshall, led by Elijah Pittman’s 20 points, shot just 29.5 percent from the field. The Thundering Herd limited Kentucky from 3-point range, as the Wildcats finished the game 3-of-17 from beyond the arc.
The Wildcats are under the direction of fourth-year coach John Calipari. Kentucky boasts a No. 4 national ranking in blocked shots per game, with 7.9 per contest, and also ranks 16th in both scoring margin (17.4) and field goal percentage (49.0). Currently, Goodwin leads the team at 16 points per game, while Noel is averaging a team-best 9.1 rebounds.
The PEYTON Watch: Peyton Siva is 49 points shy of becoming the 64th Louisville men's basketball player to reach 1,000 points. The Cardinals rank second all-time in 1,000 point scorers behind North Carolina's 67.
GAME FACTS - Louisville vs. Kentucky
Date: Saturday, Dec. 29
Time: 4:05 p.m. ET
Site: KFC Yum! Center / Crum Court, Louisville, Ky. (22,000)
TV: CBS will broadcast the game, with Tim Brando (play-by-play), Clark Kellogg (analyst) and Greg Anthony (analyst) calling the action.
Radio: WKRD (790 AM), with Paul Rogers (play-by-play) and Bob Valvano (color) calling the game.
SIRUS: The game will be available on SIRUS channel 85 and XM channel 85.
Series History: Kentucky leads the all-time series, 30-14 (11-7 in Louisville, 16-5 in Lexington, 3-2 neutral).
Officials: John Cahill, Ed Corbett, Doug Shows
Next U of L Game: Wednesday, Jan. 2 vs. Providence, KFC Yum! Center, 6 p.m. ET (BIG EAST Network/WHAS)