Russ Smith scored 21 points and pulled down 7 rebounds to help lead the #4 Louisville Cardinals to an 80-77 win over the upset minded Kentucky Wildcats. This game came almost 9 months to the day of the 2012 Final Four matchup in which Kentucky won, and today’s game provided a semblance of revenge for the Cardinals. Chane Behanan added 20 points and Peyton Siva 19 to lead the Cardinals. The two teams were tied 16:00 into the game but Louisville closed out the first half strongly to take a 36-28 halftime lead. It looked like the game may be a blowout as Louisville took a 51-34 lead with 14;46 left in the game.
Kentucky’s Kyle Wiltjer hit a pair of three pointers off the bench to close the gap and the Wildcats continued to battle the rest of the way but could get no closer than the 3 point final margin. Archie Goodwin led Kentucky with 22 points and Ryan Harrow added 17. The loss dropped Kentucky to 8-4 on the season and was John Calipari’s first loss against Louisville in five games. Rick Pitino broke a four game losing streak to UK and Pitino is now 3-7 in the last 10 games against the team he led to the 1996 National Title.