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Kentucky314374
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69


Kentucky (26-10) vs. Louisville (31-5)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Friday, March 28, 9:45 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Lucas Oil Stadium (70,000) -- Indianapolis, Indiana. Television: CBS. NCAA Tournament Record: Kentucky 113-46, Louisville 72-40. Series Record: Kentucky leads, 31-15.

GAME NOTES: Of all the Sweet 16 matchups, there may be none bigger than the battle for the state of Kentucky.

The two most recent NCAA national basketball champions will meet Friday in an epic matchup. The eighth-seeded Kentucky Wildcats will clash with the fourth-seeded Louisville Cardinals at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for more than just the right to advance to the Elite Eight. They'll be playing for state supremacy and the ultimate bragging rights.

Kentucky advanced past the top seeded team in the Midwest Region, Wichita State, on Sunday by a score of 78-76. The Wildcats have won two straight games in the tournament since narrowly losing to Florida in the SEC Tournament finals.

Louisville has won seven consecutive games dating back to the regular season, and advanced to the Sweet 16 with two hard-fought games against Manhattan and Saint Louis. The defending national champs were able to pull away from the Billikens late in last Saturday's contest for the 66-51 victory.

These intrastate rivals have met on the court 46 times in their rich history, and Kentucky holds a 31-15 all-time series lead. The two squads met on the court earlier this season in Lexington, with Kentucky earning a 73-66 win.

Kentucky did something on Sunday no other team in 2013-14 had been able to accomplish, and that was hand a loss to the Wichita State Shockers. The two- point win for the Wildcats came down to the very last second, as a Fred VanVleet's 3-point attempt at the buzzer missed, which gave Kentucky the two- point victory. Andrew Harrison had a monster game for Kentucky, netting a team-high 20 points in the contest. Aaron Harrison chipped in with 19 points, and Julius Randle tallied a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds with six assists. James Young was the fourth UK player in double digits, adding 13 points and eight boards.

The freshman sensation Randle still tops the Kentucky squad in both the scoring and rebounding categories. Randle, who has played in 36 games this season, averages 15.1 ppg and 10.6 rpg, shooting 50.3 percent from the floor in his only year as a Wildcat. Young is right behind Randle in scoring at 14.3 ppg, followed by the Harrison twins. Aaron Harrison nets 14.1 ppg, and Andrew Harrison rounds out the double-digit Kentucky scorers with 11 ppg, adding a team-best 137 assists to his resume. Willie Cauley-Stein tops the Wildcats roster with 106 blocked shots on the year.

After a vicious comeback against NC State in the second round of the tournament, the Saint Louis Billikens wanted to get off to a strong start against defending national champion Louisville. The Billikens owned a lead several minutes into the game, but Louisville took care of that with a late- period run. The Cardinals led at the half, 25-16, in an ugly offensive display, and endured a Saint Louis comeback attempt in the second half to hold on for the win. Luke Hancock connected on 4-of-12 from 3-point range and led the Cardinals in scoring in the contest with 21 points. Russ Smith and Chris Jones each netted 11 points, and Montrezl Harrell notched a double-double with 10 points and 11 boards.

Smith's amazing senior season continues. The feisty guard can get to the basket at will, which is reflected in his team-leading 18.1 ppg scoring average. But scoring isn't his only strength, as Smith tops the Cardinals with 169 assists on the year, adding 73 steals to his resume. The sophomore Harrell has come into his own both offensively and defensively as the replacement for Gorgui Dieng. Harrell averages 14 ppg and a team-leading 8.4 rpg, and also has a team high-tying 49 blocked shots. Hancock chips in 12.1 ppg for Louisville, and Jones adds 10.4 ppg. The Cardinals have a huge advantage in scoring differentials. Louisville nets 81.4 ppg through 36 contests, and gives up just 60.8 ppg to opponents.

Kentucky and Louisville match up extremely well, with the Wildcats owning the size advantage. Louisville has a speed advantage, along with seniority. Smith and Jones may have an extremely hard time trying to get shots off against the significantly larger Harrison brothers (both listed at 6-foot-6). But with speed and quick passes, the Cardinals can break that threat.

This will be the most intriguing game of the Sweet 16, and although Kentucky has more potential talent from top to bottom, Louisville's experience will be a huge factor here.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Louisville 76, Kentucky 72

03/28 10:33:33 ET

Other Stories

  • ACC: Wake Forest at Duke

    Tonight at 8:00 on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Syracuse at NC State

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Florida at Kentucky

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Pac 12: Stanford at Arizona

    Saturday at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Duke vs. Wake Forest

    Tonight at 8:00 on 620am

  • Big Ten: Wisconsin at Minnesota

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NBA: Dallas at Portland

    Tomorrow at 9:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Minnesota

    Friday at 8:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHA 104
LAL 103
Final
GT 49
UNC 81
Final
CLEM 61
NCSU 66
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
CHA
 
8:00pm Tonight
DUKE
WAKE
 
Final
DET 15
BAL 2
 
Final
MIA 7
MIAFLA 1
 
Final
PHI 5
NYY 5
 
Final
BOS 2
NEASTERN 1
 
Final
TOR 7
PIT 8
 
Final
CIN 10
CLE 0
 
Final
OAK 9
SFG 4
 
Final
BOS 1
BOSTONCOLL 0
 
Final
ARI 4
ASU 0
 
1:05pm Today
BAL
DET
 
1:05pm Today
ATL
NYM
 
1:05pm Today
NYY
PHI
 
1:05pm Today
PIT
TOR
 
3:05pm Today
LOS
CWS
 
3:05pm Today
CLE
CIN
 
3:05pm Today
TEX
KAN
 
3:05pm Today
SFG
OAK
 
3:05pm Today
SEA
SDP
 
3:05pm Today
MIL
WMIL
 
3:10pm Today
COL
ARI
 
7:05pm Tonight
MIN
UMIN
 
Final
CLE 110
BOS 79
Final
CHA 104
LAL 103
Final
NYK 86
SAC 124
Final
ATL 104
HOU 96
Final
MEM 82
UTA 93
Final
CHI 97
WAS 92
Final
DEN 106
MIL 95
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
PHO
 
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
CHA
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
CLE
 
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
UTA
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
DEN
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
DET
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
LAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
MEM
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
PHI
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
SAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
MIL
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
POR
 
Final
UMO 70
AKR 63
 
Final
NAVY 56
ARMY 52
 
Final
BST 60
EMICH 67
 
Final
BUT 54
GEOR 60
Final
IND 63
IOWA 77
Final
FLGC 81
JVU 63
 
Final
USCU 90
KNST 54
 
Final
BGU 80
KSU 81
 
Final
NKENTUCKY 73
LIP 76
 
Final
HC 62
GHND 45
 
Final
RUTG 50
MD 60
Final
GT 49
UNC 81
Final
BUF 93
OHIO 66
 
Final
ALA 74
MISS 82
Final
DAY 75
RIU 59
Final
CMICH 85
TOL 77
 
Final
DET 77
YOUNG 67
Final
UNF 81
STET 67
 
Final
ABCHRIST 83
HOUB 71
 
Final
NDAK 78
NEOM 80
 
Final
NILL 65
WMICH 63
 
Final
ILLCH 60
WRST 57
Final
MIZZ 63
AUB 61
Final
UGA 64
KENT 72
Final
NW 82
MICH 78
Final
CLEM 61
NCSU 66
Final
UF 66
TEXAM 62
Final
KU 76
WVU 69
Final
CREI 72
VILL 76
12:00pm Today
PBY
LONG
 
2:00pm Today
GWEBB
CAMP
 
6:00pm Tonight
UNCA
LIB
 
6:00pm Tonight
PSU
OSU
 
7:00pm Tonight
USB
BING
 
7:00pm Tonight
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7:00pm Tonight
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7:00pm Tonight
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HART
 
7:00pm Tonight
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7:00pm Tonight
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7:00pm Tonight
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MAINE
 
7:00pm Tonight
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7:00pm Tonight
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PROV
 
7:00pm Tonight
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SHU
 
7:00pm Tonight
MORE
SEMIZ
 
7:00pm Tonight
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RFLSH
 
7:00pm Tonight
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TENN
 
7:00pm Tonight
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UCF
 
7:00pm Tonight
VERM
UMBC
 
7:00pm Tonight
RMU
WAGN
 
7:30pm Tonight
UMASS
RICH
 
8:00pm Tonight
TULA
HOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
YALE
HOW
 
8:00pm Tonight
PITT
MIAMI
 
8:00pm Tonight
TXPA
NMST
 
8:00pm Tonight
MSU
PURD
 
8:00pm Tonight
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BONA
 
8:00pm Tonight
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WAKE
 
9:00pm Tonight
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9:00pm Tonight
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MSST
 
9:00pm Tonight
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SIUE
 
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9:00pm Tonight
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UTST
 
10:00pm Tonight
FRES
AFA
 
10:00pm Tonight
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BSU
 
10:00pm Tonight
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ILL
NEB
 
11:00pm Tonight
ORST
OREG
 
11:00pm Tonight
UNLV
SDST
 
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
UCSB
 
Final
PHI 2
CAL 3
Final
NJD 3
NAS 1
Final
CLB 3
WAS 5
Final
TAM 3
BUF 0
Final
FLA 2
TOR 3
Final
MIN 3
OTT 2
Final
DAL 3
NYI 2
Final
ARI 1
ANA 4
Final
VAN 2
SJS 6
Final
EDM 2
LOS 5
7:30pm Tonight
WIN
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
DET
NYR
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
MON
 
10:00pm Tonight
COL
PIT