BOZICH | John Calipari's domination of Louisville by the numbers
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – It started with two free throws by DeMarcus Cousins 45 seconds into the first John Calipari-Rick Pitino meeting in this Kentucky-Louisville rivalry, the rivalry that will percolate again Saturday at 2 p.m. in the KFC Yum! Center.
Cousins followed those free throws with a put-back basket 19 seconds later. Cousins scored again after an assist by John Wall 31 seconds later. It was Kentucky 6, Louisville 0 before Pitino had a chance to straighten his tie.
The teams played 40 minutes in Rupp Arena on Jan. 2, 2010.
Louisville led for 19 seconds midway through the second half. That's it -- 19 seconds.
The Wildcats outrebounded the Cards by eight.
The Wildcats shot eight more free throws.
They were more accurate from the field.
They forced Louisville into more turnovers.
They won, 71-62.
And that is a solid snapshot of the way the UK-U of L series has unfolded in the seven-game John Calipari vs. Rick Pitino slice of the rivalry.
Calipari 6, Pitino 1 – with two of Cal's victories coming in the NCAA Tournament.
That is the way it is expected to remain Saturday. The Wildcats are favored by 4 in Las Vegas. Ken Pomeroy's computer numbers like Kentucky by two. Jeff Sagarin's formula says UK by 5 ½. Eric Crawford says Kentucky 62-54. I say UK 71, U of L 64.
Dissenting opinions have been rare.
Is that 6-1 record an issue for Pitino and the Cardinals?
“I don't think he's worried about it,” Calipari said. “All he wants to do is win this one.
“I think we're all the same. I don't go against a coach and say, ‘How many time has he beaten me?' I've been beaten plenty of times and have had some shellackings in there where you have to walk off the court and not really worry about the tape.
“I've done that many times in my career. I don't think he's worried about it, and I'm certainly not worried about it.”
Now let's go to the rest of the numbers during the Calipari/Pitino Era of the rivalry:
The teams have played 280 minutes. Louisville has led less than 28 percent of the time – a total of 77 minutes and 47 seconds.
The average score has been Kentucky 73, Louisville 66 – the precise score of the game played in Rupp Arena last season.
Kentucky's largest victory: 15 points.
Louisville's largest victory: 3 points.
Kentucky's smallest victory: 5 points.
Louisville's smallest victory 3 points.
Kentucky has scored 69 or more points seven times.
Louisville has scored 69 or more points twice.
Kentucky has made 45 percent of its field goal attempts.
Louisville has made 40 percent.
Word in the coaching grapevine is that any team that beats Kentucky will have to make at least 10 three-point shots. Louisville has never made more than eight three-pointers against one of Calipari's UK teams – and the Cards only made eight once.
On average, the Cards have made 4.86 threes against Calipari's UK teams.
Kentucky has outrebounded U of L by nearly 7 per game.
Kentucky has won six of seven despite averaging nearly 2 more turnovers per game.
If you believe the team that shoots the most free throws is the most aggressive team, then advantage Kentucky. The Wildcats have taken 193 free throws. Louisville has taken 147.
The Wildcats have even been sharper at the line, making 66 percent, a percentage point better than Louisville.
Kentucky has won after trailing in the second half three times.
Louisville has never won after trailing in the second half.
Kentucky has overcome leads of 1, 6, 2, 2, 8 and 13 (last season in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen).
Louisville overcame a six-point Kentucky lead during the Cards' 80-77 victory two seasons ago.
Calipari has recruited 20 McDonald's all-Americans at UK.
Pitino has recruited three during the Calipari Era.
Calipari has produced 18 NBA draft picks at UK.
Pitino has produced three during the Calipari Era.
Maybe all of this will matter Saturday. Or maybe none of it will.
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