Before anyone of you reads this, gets excited, goes out and bets good money on a Cardinals victory please calm down. These Wildcats are the best team in the country. They have been the best team in the country since day 1 of the season. This is their National Championship.
But there is a team in the adjacent locker room that doesn’t see that. The Louisville Cardinals are as confident and determined a team as Kentucky will face this season. Louisville is riding an 8 game winning streak that includes a Big East Championship and a win over #1 seed Michigan State. Can they beat Kentucky? They can if they can accomplish these 3 things tonight.
- Defensive Pressure and Confusion
75 is the number. Below it good and above it bad. Patino is a mastermind at confusing offenses with his pressure D. If this team can continue the defensive intensity they displayed against Florida and Michigan State they can frustrate Kentucky and give themselves a chance. One thing is for sure. I am predicting at least 1 broken nose courtside from a monster Anthony Davis or Gorgui Dieng block.
- Hit the 3-point shot
Kyle Kuric, Chris and Russ Smith must hit from beyond the arc tonight. They must hit consistently from 3 tonight and they must get hot early. If they can hit threes early and get out front then this will put pressure on Kentucky to score and paired with Louisville’s defense will cause forced shots.
- Have Fun and Stay Loose
Louisville has to play loose tonight. When you play loose your shots drop and your legs stay fresh (a priority with UL’s short bench). If they can come in knowing that all the pressure is on Kentucky then they can slay the giant.
They are coming into this game as the little brother who is supposed to lose to his big brother. That doesn’t mean it has to happen. (Does anyone else picture the Rick Moranis speech from Little Giants?) Louisville loses this game they go home winners this season. But if they win they go home legends. I can’t wait for this game tonight.