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Image for Andre Viljoen Andre Viljoen - Updated October 14, 2022

Louisville Cardinals vs Kentucky Wildcats: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch Louisville vs Kentucky

Where: Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY

When: Saturday, December 28th at 3:45 pm EST

How (TV): CBS

Louisville Cardinals (Away)

Head Coach: Chris Mack {Overall: 11-1 | Conference: 2-0; T-1st in ACC}

The Louisville Cardinals are off to a solid start after beginning the season ranked fifth in the preseason AP Poll.

Although they have faced a relatively light schedule to help maintain such a strong record, the Cardinals have tested themselves against possible tournament teams, with a win over ACC foe Pittsburgh and an ACC/Big Ten challenge win over Michigan. Louisville will get one last chance to add a big non-conference win to their resume before ACC play, as they take on Kentucky in just their second true road game of the season.

Led by junior forward Jordan Nwora, who is averaging 21.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, the Cardinals have been one of the better defensive teams in the country thus far.

Coach Chris Mack’s team has been forcing opponents into tough looks, which has led to those teams shooting just 35% against them. Furthermore, they have limited opponents to a 26.7% success rate from three-point range, making them a tough team to crack.

Kentucky Wildcats (Home)

Head Coach: John Calipari {Overall: 8-3 | Conference: 0-0; T-1st in SEC}

The Kentucky Wildcats enter this rivalry game looking to close out the 2019 calendar year with a win. Having lost two straight games at the CBS Classic in Las Vegas to Utah and Ohio State, the Cats are in desperate need to add another key win to their tournament resume.

A victory over the third-ranked Cardinals could go a long way to make up for Kentucky not playing a true road game before conference play, although they do visit Texas Tech in late January.

Contrary to recent history, coach John Calipari’s team has seen the majority of its offense being generated by non-freshmen. Sophomores Ashton Hagans and Immanuel Quickley, along with junior big man Nick Richards, have established themselves as double-digit scoring threats. Missing from that team, however, is consistent three-point shooting, as the Wildcats rank 330th in the nation in three-point shooting, connecting at a 27.8% clip from deep.

Louisville vs Kentucky All-Time Series

These intrastate rivals have met 42 times prior to Saturday’s showdown, with Kentucky winning 28 of those games. The Wildcats have won 10 of the last 12 meetings, with the most recent loss coming in December 2016.

Rupp Arena has been a house of horrors for the Cardinals, as they have not won there since 2008, and have not beaten a ranked Kentucky team there since 2003 when Tubby Smith was roaming the sidelines in Lexington.

Louisville Roster Notes

There are no injuries or other roster notes to report for Louisville.

Kentucky Roster Notes

Sophomore forward Ben Jordan is listed as questionable which has kept him out of action since Kentucky’s December 7th game against Fairleigh Dickinson.

Freshman guard Dontaie Allen is out indefinitely as he recovers from a torn ACL suffered in high school.

Senior forward Nate Sestina is out indefinitely with a wrist injury that he suffered in practice nearly a month ago.

Head-to-Head: Ryan McMahon (LOU) vs Nick Richards (UK)

Ryan McMahon

Guard | 6-0, 180lb | Cardinal Mooney HS | Sarasota, FL | Senior

9.8 PPG | 2.3 APG | 1.3 RPG | 0.7 SPG | 0.1 BPG | 1.2 TOV | .427 FG% | .463 3P%

After three years of coming off the bench, Louisville’s Ryan McMahon has finally earned an everyday starting role in Chris Mack’s rotation. A career .390 three-point shooter, McMahon has found a way to make opponents pay from long range, as he has yet to have a game this season where he has failed to make a three-pointer.

The Floridian has ten career games where he has hit four or more attempts from deep, six of which came against major conference opponents. Although he has yet to hit one against Kentucky in two games against the Cats, that should change with his increased role on offense.

Nick Richards

Power Forward/Center | 6-11, 244lb | The Patrick School | Kingston, Jamaica | Junior

11.7 PPG | 0.5 APG | 6.9 RPG | 0.4 SPG | 2.3 BPG | 1.5 TOV | .679 FG% | .000 3P%

Similar to former Wildcat and current NBA center Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky’s Nick Richards has chosen to stay in Lexington for his junior year despite being a heralded high school recruit.

Richards’ length makes him a valuable weapon on both ends of the floor as one of the best shot blockers in the country, as well as a solid finisher around the rim. Like McMahon, his impact in this rivalry has been minimal, with just four points, nine rebounds, and three blocks in two matchups with the Cardinals.

However, with the wealth of experience he has gained under Calipari, he will likely be a key factor for the Wildcats.

Louisville Cardinals vs Kentucky Wildcats Predictions and Odds

The odds will be updated as soon as they are made available by the sportsbooks. Visit DraftKings Sportsbook, Caesars NJ, or SugarHouse NJ for more NCAAB odds.

Good luck!

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Andre Viljoen

150 Articles

Andre has been writing for WSN since February 2019, covering college basketball and college football. A graduate of Florida State and UNC-Chapel Hill, he lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. When he is not writing, he enjoys playing sports and Magic: The Gathering.

Email: [email protected]

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