|#4||Louisville (30-9) ||63|
|#1||Kentucky (36-2) ||68|
Aside from horse racing and bourbon, nothing unites the Bluegrass State like its love for college basketball. Kentucky has always asserted itself to be a hotbed of hoops, a sentiment solidified this season by the collective performances of Murray State, the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky. While the Racers had a commendable campaign, it’s the Cardinals and Wildcats as the two remaining candidates seeking to claim the Commonwealth’s crown.
The first half was a see-saw affair, as the two schools traded punches like two prize fighters. UK was able to grab the upper hand, taking a six-point lead into the break thanks to a 7-2 run to end the first half. After Marquis Teague connected with a jumper to start the second frame, the Cardinals would score 10 unanswered points, giving Rick Pitino’s bunch a 38-36 advantage with 14 minutes remaining. For the next 12 minutes, the game returned to its’ back-and-forth mantra until a short runner by Terrence Jones and a layup by Doron Lamb gave Kentucky the lead for good, as the Big Blue emerged with a 68-63 victory.
The Wildcats were paced by their freshmen sensations, with Anthony Davis submitting the performance of the game with eight points, eight rebounds, 10 blocks and three steals. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had a superb all-around game as well, finishing with 12 points, six rebounds, five assists, two blocks and two steals. Fellow diaper dandy Teague chipped in 11 points and five dimes, and Lamb led UK with 17 points. In the losing effort, Chris Smith led all scorers with 18 points, while Gorgui Dieng was done in by poor shooting, going 3-for-13 from the field.
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