With Kentucky playing Louisville on Friday, let’s rank the top 10 offensive performances by a Wildcat against U of L in the John Calipari era.
1. In a delightful surprise, Josh Harrellson scored 23 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in UK’s 78-63 win at the KFC Yum Center on Dec. 31, 2010. Remember this was the year “Jorts” was nearly tossed from the team after posting some early-season tweets knocking Calipari. When Enes Kanter was ruled ineligible, however, Harrellson was pressed into emergency duty. This was the game that showed the transfer who arrived during Billy Gillispie’s brief tenure could get the job done.
2. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was Mr. Everything in Kentucky’s 69-62 victory over Louisville at Rupp Arena on Dec. 31, 2011. The freshman forward scored 24 points and grabbed 19 rebounds. Amazingly, Kidd-Gilchrist did not commit a turnover in 39 minutes. All he needed was a Superman cape.
3. Aaron Harrison made just three-of-13 shots inside Lucas Oil, but he nailed the biggest one, a three-pointer with 39 seconds left to put Kentucky ahead for good in a 74-69 win over Louisville in the Sweet 16 of the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Harrison finished with 15 points and three steals.
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4. Anthony Davis had already stamped his name into UK’s lore by blocking a last-second shot to preserve a win over visiting North Carolina. The freshman center then produced a breakout all-around game against Louisville in the aforemetioned Dec. 31, 2011 game, scoring 18 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and blocking six shots.
5. Later that year, when the Cats met the Cards in the Final Four in New Orleans, Davis gave an encore performance. The future No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft scored 18 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and blocked five shots in UK’s 69-61 win. Two nights later, Kentucky won the national title and Davis was named Most Outstanding Player.
6. The smallest man on the floor came up big when Tyler Ulis scored 21 points and dished eight assists in UK’s 75-73 win over Louisville in Rupp Arena the day after Christmas in 2015. Ulis was seven-of-12 from the floor, including four-of-seven from three-point range. A bloodied Ulis scored 14 points, 12 in the second half, in UK’s 58-50 win the year before.
7. Intense and chippy best described the first John Calipari-Rick Pitino regular-season face-off at Rupp Arena on Jan. 2, 2010. Kentucky prevailed 71-62 in large part thanks to DeMarcus Cousins, who after being nearly ejected in the first half, scored 18 points and grabbed 18 rebounds. Boogie was seven-of-14 from the floor. Fourteen of his rebounds came on the defensive end.
8. Freshman guard Brandon Knight scored 25 points to help John Calipari go 2-0 against Pitino as the UK coach in that Dec. 31, 2010 win. Knight was seven-of-13 from the floor, four-of-six from three-point range and seven-of-eight from the foul line. Only five turnovers kept his performance from ranking higher.
9. As a junior, Patrick Patterson was the old man on Calipari’s first Kentucky team. He’d been through the UK-U of L wars before, contributing 22 points and 15 rebounds vs. Louisville in 2009-10. He scored 17 points to the Jan. 2, 2010 win. Patterson was seven-of-10 from the floor and made his only three-point attempt.
10. Though Aaron Harrison drained the dramatic go-ahead shot, Julius Randle had more to do with UK’s 2014 Sweet 16 win over the Cards in Indianapolis. The freshman forward scored 15 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Cats earned a berth in the Midwest Region final and then ultimately the national championship game.
John Calipari vs. Louisville as Kentucky coach
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