It's Gameday folks! Finally the day where the bragging rights are won and good friends become bitter enemies. First, let me share a little story. Grab a carpet square and gather around indian-style...
March 23, 1983 was the day Card fans were finally going to get their shot at the hated Wildcats, with a Final 4 bid on the line. The Cards were huge on the national scene, and the perspective was that UK was scared. For years, UK coach Joe B. Hall refused to play the Cards even though the talent was finally there to compete season-after-season. Card fans finally were granted their wish in a game that was played in Knoxville, TN. My dad, a die-hard fan for all die-hard fans, was lucky enough to score a ticket. Lower-level, a perfect view to watch the Mildcats finally get their comeuppance after all these years. However, there was a snag. His lovely wife (my mother) was due to come home from the hospital after delivering their first child (me) 2 days earlier. The good man that he is, my dad decided to stay home and watch it with a 2-day old Rob Jones. Needless to say, I was born to worship the Cards and despise the Mildcats. And, yes, 25 years later and I'm still making up for it with pops. Sappy, I know, but that is why I'm a Card fan and Cat hater.
We all know that the worst part about Kentucky is their fans. Their fans make us as Louisville fans hate everything to do with UK, Lexington, and the color blue. After all these years, they still feel as if Louisville is an inferior program and will never reach the levels of mighty UK despite the fact that we have been to a Final 4, Elite 8 and Sweet 16 more recently. They bring up championships that weren't even won on a level playing field - no integration, no TV, no competition. In every UK argument I have I get a history lesson because they bring up stuff that happened 10+ years ago which is now completely insignificant. The "little brother" talk makes me sick. Also, no UK fan will ever admit they or their beloved Kayuts have done any wrong even when they pay recruits fathers or run a championship coach out of town for the drunkard they have now. Rednexington, the Mecca for a sociopathetic fan base, is going to be blue tonight, but not in the way it is used to.
We have the better players, the better coach and we are playing in the world's most famous arena, Freedom Hall. The Cards play their best after a loss and, unfortunate as it may be, a lot of our players (mainly Earl) wait for games like this to kick it up a notch. The cards are in the Cards favor today. The only team that will beat Louisville today is Louisville. If the shots are falling, it will be a long day for Mr.'s Patterson and Meeks. Louisville has 10 players that can put up 20 on any given day. UK has 2 (3 if you count Billy G's drinking habits). The UNLV, Minnesota, and Western losses hurt, but they all kind of snuck up on Pitino's team. The Big Blue Boo Hoo isn't sneaking up on them today. There are no excuses, the Cards have had 4 days to prepare and get themselves emotionally ready.
Samardo needs to play like the man that he is. Earl needs to treat this as a tourney game and play with a chip on his massive shoulders. Jerry, Preston and Andre need to be inside Liggins and Porter's jerseys all day causing turnovers. T-Will needs to be the facilitator and not take "contested" shots. Goode and Swop need to fill their roles and Sosa needs to not pull a Plaxico and shoot himself or his whole team with mistakes.
UK still turns the ball over. They are still a 2-trick show. They still have Michael Porter handling the ball and they still have a coach that is in way over his head. It's time for the Cards to shoot down the notion that UK has a better team this year. We know that's not true and everyone outside of the Big Blew Nation knows it's not true. Louisville wins this game rather convincingly and makes a statement to the rest of the nation - Don't count us out quite yet.
UL - 80
UK - 65