Big Blue Links for Wednesday, or UK-U of L Day:
▪ Rick Pitino claims the Cards are ready to run with John Calipari’s Cats, reports Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader. I don’t believe him.
▪ This looks like a college basketball season in which all the blue blood programs have strong teams. Throw both Kentucky and Louisville into that mix, says my column.
▪ Rick Bozich of WDRB lists five factors that will decide the Cats and Cards. Rick did so by diving deep into the Synergy stats, which at the end of day may make your brain hurt.
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▪ Never mind those 47 points. John Calipari wants more rebounds and free throws from Malik Monk, reports Jerry Tipton of the Herald-Leader.
▪ Give Monk an inch and he’s open, writes Tim Sullivan of the Courier-Journal. Against North Carolina, seemed Monk needed less than an inch.
▪ You might hate your rival, but it’s hard not to like these teams, says Eric Crawford of WDRB. Eric writes that it’s still not a family reunion, “But I don’t feel the animus I used to feel among the participants, even if ESPN did hype the game this week like it hasn’t been hyped in a long time.”
▪ The Courier-Journal compiled a long list of media picks. Kentucky was the popular choice.
▪ If everyone is getting hugs, it’s a big day for Kentucky basketball, reports Tipton. Derek Willis said he was one of the players who hugged Monk after the win over UNC.
▪ Melissa Isaacson of ESPN writes about how the foreign-born players look at the Kentucky-Louisville rivalry.
▪ Twelve years later, Pitino says one Kentucky-Louisville game bothered him most, reports Roberts. “The one game that bothered me the most was when (Patrick) Sparks traveled,” Pitino said on his radio show. “That bothered me the most, and they didn’t call it. But outside of that, no I don’t have one.”
▪ How Kentucky and Louisville match up -- with a game prediction from Mark Story of the Herald-Leader.
▪ John Calipari was in rare form at his pre-Louisville presser, reports Jon Hale of the Courier-Journal. Cal was also in rare attire after having worked out.
▪ Did Caliapri troll a North Carolina columnist by wearing gym shorts on Tuesday? asks Kyle Tucker of SEC Country. The whole thing is ridiculous. Calipari almost always changes out of his suit before his post-game press conference at road games.
▪ Calipari said he and Pitino are not mean to each other, reports Larry Vaught. In fact, he said they recently happened to be working out together and spent time talking.
▪ Rob Dauster of College Basketball Talk offers four things to watch on Wednesday night. First and foremost: Will Louisville be able to score enough points to win?
▪ Kentucky and Louisville figures to be a clash of styles, says Jeff Drummond of All Wildcats. Kentucky has a terrific offense. Louisville has a terrific defense.
▪ Nick Roush of KSR gets on the UK-U of L storyline brigade. He says that a year when Donald Trump won the presidency and the Cubs won the World Series, anything can happen.
▪ How will UK handle its road opener? asks Allan Ducker of Cats Illustrated. “We’ve already seen how Kentucky responds after a tough loss, but how will another group of freshman handle the moment after one of the biggest regular season wins in recent memory.”
▪ Alex Forkner of the Cats Pause breaks down the Cats and the Cards. Here’s one of his notes: “The Cats are 46-16 vs. ranked opponents under Calipari and 12-4 in top 10 showdowns.” UK is ranked No. 6. Louisville is ranked No. 10.
▪ Kentucky-Louisville is more than just another game to Dominique Hawkins, reports Keith Taylor of KyForward. A star at Madison Central, just down the road at Lexington, Hawkins knew all about the Cats and Cards before arriving at UK.
▪ It’s the mother of all gauntlets for Louisville, writes C.D. Kaplan. Kentucky is the first of four straight ranked teams on the Cardinals schedule.
▪ Make no mistake, this game will be a battle, says Keith Garrett of Sea of Blue.
▪ DeMarcus Cousins scored 55 points for the Sacramento Kings in a wild game at Portland on Tuesday night, reports Jefffrey Weidel of the Associated Press.
▪ Boogie went on an “epic rant” after the game.
Kentucky at Louisville
When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Where: KFC Yum Center in Louisville
Records and rankings: Kentucky is 10-1 and ranked No. 6; Louisville is ranked 10-1 and ranked No. 10
TV: ESPN with Dan Shulman, Jay Bilas and Maria Taylor
Radio: UK Network with Tom Leach and Mike Pratt