BOZICH | Ten first impressions for the Kentucky-Louisville game - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | Ten first impressions for the Kentucky-Louisville game

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – I'll have another take on the Kentucky-Louisville game on Friday afternoon, I broke away from the pie, egg nog and wrapping paper long enough to collect 10 first impressions on the two teams for the game on Saturday:

1. Top 25 wins (in the Ken Pomeroy ratings): Kentucky 3 (Texas 9; North Carolina 10; Kansas 16), Louisville 1 (Ohio State 13). Kentucky has played more elite teams.

2. Top 50 wins: Kentucky 4 (add Providence 49); Louisville 3 (add Minnesota 27; Indiana 41). Kentucky has played more potential NCAA Tournament teams.

3. Top 100 wins: Kentucky 7 (UCLA 51; Buffalo 88; Eastern Kentucky 94); Louisville 3. You know where this is going. Check item four for confirmation.

4. Strength of schedule: Kentucky 97th, Louisville 312th, according to Jeff Sagarin computer ratings; Kentucky 154th, Louisville 288th, according to Pomeroy;

5. Ratings: KenPom – UK 1, U of L 5; Sagarin Predictor – UK 1, U of L 7; RPI – UK 1, U of L 18; AP – UK 1, U of L 4. The Cards are very good and dangerous playing at home. But the Wildcats have everybody's vote as the best team in the country.

6. Ken Pomeroy Player of the Year candidates: Kentucky two in the top 10 – Willie Cauley-Stein ranks fifth and Dakari Johnson eighth; Louisville one in the top 10 – Terry Rozier ranks seventh. Montrezl Harrell was in the top 10 until this week.

7. Barbed-Wire Factor: Kentucky allows 47.7 points per game, second in the nation; Louisville allows 54.4 ppg, eighth nationally.

8. Barbed-Wire Factor, Part II: Kentucky allows .70 points per possession, which ranks first; U of L allows .74, second nationally.

9. Barbed-Wire Factor, Part III: Two teams (Boston U and North Carolina) have scored 55 or more points on Kentucky; eight have scored 55 or more against Louisville.

10. Possible Achilles' heel: For Kentucky, it's free-throw shooting. The Wildcats are making only 65.9 percent, which ranks 252nd in the nation. Not a comforting thought if  (big if) the Wildcats ever find themselves in a close game.

For Louisville, three-point shooting. The Cards rank 312th nationally in three-point shooting, making only 29 percent. Not a good number if you believe three-point shooting is a key to beating the Wildcats.

Early conclusion: Kentucky has done better work defensively against better competition.

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