Update: We are now up to
78 79 media picks. Right now, 48 49 have picked UK to win, 30 have picked U of L to win.
I started collecting media picks for the Kentucky-Louisville basketball game on Saturday and before you I knew it one thing led to another and one response led to another and one media person led to another and, well, it got out of hand.
Anyway, here are the opinions of 70-plus —
I believe 73 at present count, but I may have lost count think it’s up to 75 — media members when asked who will win UK-U of L, with the option of giving a brief summation of their reasoning.
The names are listed in alphabetical order, and I should say that I have a few more queries out that, if answered, will be included as received.
Jason Anderson (ESPN-680) says Louisville 81, Kentucky 74. While I can see a number of different results because both teams have their advantages, and Kentucky will be playing at home, I feel more confident in what Louisville will bring to the table for 40 minutes.
Scott Anderson (Nation of Blue) says Kentucky 67, Louisville 62. If the Wildcats own the paint like they should, and make their free throws down the stretch, Kentucky will get their first win over a good team this season.
Nicole Auerbach (USA Today) says Louisville 82, Kentucky 75. Until I see all of Kentucky’s extremely talented pieces mesh better and more consistently, I can’t pick them to knock off an elite veteran team. I will say this, though: I don’t know if that’s the outcome we’d see if these teams met in February.
Dave Baker (WKYT) says Kentucky 68, Louisville 62. In an ode to “The Greatest ” Randle too much to handle.
Thomas Beisner (KSTV) says Kentucky 77, Louisville 74. UK’s toughest foe so far has been themselves and they seemed to finally break through the intensity barrier against Belmont. Their length helps negate UofL’s defensive pressure and they win a close game.
Darrell Bird (Cats Pause) says Kentucky 85, Louisville 81. Forget hot shot rookies, Willie and Alex are wild cards in this game.
Rick Bozich (WDRB) says Kentucky 76, Louisville 74. Somehow the younger team finds a way.
Rob Bromley (WKYT) says Kentucky 76, Louisville 73. Note: Rob didn’t give a reason.
C.L. Brown (ESPN) says Louisville 77, Kentucky 73. Cards experience; UK turnovers and missed free throws will be the difference in a tight game.
Russ Brown (Louisville Sports Report) says Kentucky 75, Louisville 71. Cats’ strength in the paint trumps Cards’ advantage in backcourt.
Mark Buerger (WLAP) says Kentucky 73, Louisville 70. Rupp Arena will be a huge advantage and hopefully the post-exams practice has helped the young Cats get big-game ready.
Mike Cameron (WLXG) says Kentucky 71, Louisville 69. Rupp Arena crowd will be the difference.
John Clay (Lexington Herald-Leader) says Kentucky 94, Louisville 92. The hope is that this will be the most exciting UK-U of L game ever. Cats get the win because Cats need the win.
Mark Coomes (Insider Louisville) says Louisville 74, Kentucky 68. Size matters but experience counts even more.
Oscar Combs (UK Network) says Kentucky 75, Louisville 71. UK had no business beating Missouri or Florida at Rupp Arena last year, but it happened. Call it the “Rupp Crowd Effect.” It will be rough. It will be ugly. It will be tense. It will be two Italians at each other’s throat.
Eric Crawford (WDRB) says Kentucky 88, Louisville 81. Wildcats’ size, home court, make the difference.
Alan Cutler (WLEX) says Kentucky 65, Louisville 61. Because it’s at Rupp.
Seth Davis (Sports Illustrated) says Kentucky 80, Louisville 79. Louisville’s schedule, plus Luke Hancock’s lingering Achilles injury, plus Kentucky’s recent improvement, plus Kentucky’s homecourt advantage adds up to the breakthrough win that the Big Blue Nation has been pining for.
Brett Dawson (Cats Illustrated) says Kentucky 70, Louisville 67. The Cards’ backcourt advantages are a push with the Cats’ edge in the frontcourt. I’ll take the more battle-tested team at home in a tight one.
Mike Decourcy (Sporting News) says Louisville 72, Kentucky 69. Last year’s Wildcats at least showed a level of comfort at home. This team hasn’t yet embraced any court as a place to comfortably do business.
Drew Deener (ESPN-680) says Kentucky 75, Louisville 70. Kentucky is just too long at too many spots. Uofl goes further in the ncaas but this is a bad match up on Saturday.
Jody Demling (Cardinal Authority) says Louisville 74, Kentucky 72. In the end, it’s a veteran — Russ Smith — making the game-winning plays.
Jeff Drummond (All Wildcats) says Kentucky 73, Louisville 69. Cats finally get over hump against ranked opponent thanks to big game from James Young.
Kevin Faris (Ace Weekly) says Kentucky 78, Louisville 77. I took the Ken Pomeroy predicted outcome (77-76 UL) and gave UK one more Aaron Harrison basket for the win.
Keith Farmer (WLEX) says Kentucky 86, Louisville 80 in overtime. I give the Wildats the edge only because it’s at home and the fans will energize them to a win.
Pat Forde (Yahoo) says Louisville 74, Kentucky 72. Russ Smith, overshadowed by freshmen this season, will remind everyone why he’s an All-American in a gym where he always shines.
Dick Gabriel (WLAP) says Kentucky 71, Louisville 67. Willie Cauley-Stein proves to be too much of match up problem for U of L.
Larry Glover (WVLK) says Kentucky 83, Louisville 71: I think we’re going to see the BBN come to the defense of the young Cats with an electric Rupp Arena that we’ll be talking about for years to come. UK will feed off of it and play far and away their best game of the year.
Jeff Goodman (ESPN) says Kentucky 71, Louisville 69. It’s a complete toss-up, but I’m going with the home team here. Cards still not in sync yet.
Gary Graves (AP) says Louisville 79, Kentucky 74. Reason: Louisville’s experience, speed and perimeter shooting will trump Kentucky’s youth, size and length.
Nick Gray (Kentucky Kernel) says Louisville 77, Kentucky 73. Louisville has the experience, and the best player on the floor on Saturday (Russ Smith) will be wearing red and white
Jeff Greer (Courier-Journal) says Louisville 74, Kentucky 70. UK’s size will bother U of L, but perimeter pressure will turn over the Cats and get the Cards the transition points they need to win.
Jon Hale (Cats Pause) says Kentucky 85, Louisville 81. Rupp crowd helps Cats get win in one of last chances to impress vs. a top-level team.
Adam Himmelsbach (Courier-Journal) says Louisville 82, Kentucky 78. Cats ride the crowd to a second-half lead, but Cards big-game poise helps them grab win at the end.
Lee K. Howard (WKYT) says Kentucky 68, Louisville 61. I believe Louisville’s experience is a huge advantage, but ultimately home court advantage wins out.
Matt Jones (Kentucky Sports Radio) says Kentucky 78, Louisville 74. Cats win due mainly to crowd advantage and a big game by James Young.
Steve Jones (Courier-Journal) says Louisville 79, Kentucky 75. I don’t expect the defending champs to get rattled by any road environment, and with a week to prepare, Rick Pitino likely find an effective way to limit Julius Randle.
Paul Jordan (Wildcat Blue Nation) says Kentucky 79, Louisville 73. Andrew Harrison and Julius Randle turn in complete games at both ends of the court as Cards go cold from long range.
Andy Katz (ESPN) says Kentucky 72, Louisville 70. The difference will be Julius Randle, the one area of the floor where the Wildcats have a decided advantage.
Art Lander, Jr. (KYForward) says Louisville 68, Kentucky 62. U of L will be able to play through the loud home court advantage because of their experience in big games and win a defensive struggle.
Matthew Laurance (WLXG) says Kentucky 76, Louisville 73. Think this is the game they come together. Randle gets Louisville bigs in foul trouble.
Tom Leach (UK Network) says Kentucky 77, Louisville 73. Kentucky’s length makes the difference, as Cards shot only 42% inside the arc v. North Carolina.
Ryan Lemond (WLAP) says Kentucky 81, Louisville 80. Earlier in the week I thought U of L would win, but I’ve had a change of heart. In the final secinds, maybe even in overtime.
Howard Lindsey (Cardinalsports.com) says Louisville 72, Kentucky 65. Louisville’s guards are too quick for the twins and too clever to get their shots repeatedly blocked. Cards’ quickness wins.
Glenn Logan (A Sea of Blue) says Kentucky 79, Louisville 75. Offensive rebounding and good ball-handling are the keys to Kentucky’s victory.
Mark Maloney (Herald-Leader) says Kentucky 77, Louisville 76. Home court proves big as crowd wills Cats to victory.
Mark Mathis (Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer) says Louisville 76, Kentucky 73. Cards have most experienced guards, and good guards win games like this.
Randy McClure (Rush the Court) says Kentucky 74, Louisville 73. UK’s interior size will wear out cards. Crowd will carry them through.
Lachlan McLean (WHAS) says Kentucky 76, Louisville 73. I’ll go with UK but with very little confidence. So hard to predict. Ultimately I give UK the nod due to size and shot blocking. If both teams play their best, UK’s upside is better. But Cats haven’t played 40 minutes of “A” game yet this year — or even 30 — so who knows.
Brian Milam (WKYT) says Kentucky 67, Louisville 64. The fourth time is the charm against a ranked team. Andrew Harrison lives at the free-throw line and UK finally learns how to win a close game.
Dana O’Neil (ESPN) says Louisville 78, Kentucky 71. The Cards’ overall experience outweighs Kentucky’s inside advantage in a game where jitters will matter.
Gary Parrish (CBS Sports) says Kentucky 81, Louisville 80. I’d likely take Louisville right now on a neutral court. But I think UK is good enough to win this game inside Rupp Arena.
James Pennington (KYForward) says Louisville 78, Kentucky 71. I’m not sure what five UK can leave out there to both stop and keep up with everything UofL does.
Eric Prisbell (USA Today) says Louisville 83, Kentucky 82. I still believe UK will be the better team come march, but U of L, flying under the radar all season, is the more complete team today.
Brian Rickerd (Frankfort State-Journal) says Louisville 82, Kentucky 75. I’d pick Louisville because of experience throughout the roster; an edge in depth at the wings and guard spots and superior quickness in the backcourt. Officiating will be a key…it’s critical that Louisville’s ‘big’ guys stay out of foul trouble.
Alex Risen (WTVQ) says Kentucky 77, Louisville 70. Cats finally share the basketball and play 40 minutes ofr the key win after losing by 4, 5 and 5 to ranked teams this year.
Ben Roberts (Lexington Herald-Leader) says Kentucky 81, Louisville 76. UK’s frontcourt play — led by a big game from Willie Cauley-Stein — will be enough to hold off the Cards.
Mike Rutherford (Card Chronicle) says Louisville 78, Kentucky 76. It’s as difficult a game to predict as we’ve seen in this series, so I’m getting as simple as possible and going with the team that I think is superior at the moment.
David Schuh (Kentucky Kernel) says Kentucky 73, Louisville 66. Russ Smith and Chris Jones will get open looks, but UK will use its big size advantage to dominate the paint.
Ashley Scoby (Danville Advocate-Messenger) says Louisville 78, Kentucky 69. I think Julius Randle has a big game but Lousiville pulls it out if Kentucky can’t improve defensive fundamentals and overall effort. Free throw shooting a huge key too and unless Kentucky has drastically improved that in the last week, it might come back to bite.
Kyle Scott (WLEX) says Louisville 75, Kentucky 71. Too many unknowns surrounding the Cats, while the Cards seem to be in a good place.
Keenan Singleton (WTVQ) says Louisville 77, Kentucky 73. Cards’ guard play the difference.
Aaron Smith (Cats Illustrated) says Louisville 74, Kentucky 72. The Cats are on the verge of getting that marquee win, but it won’t come against a too-good Cards backcourt.
Jennifer Smith (Lexington Herald-Leader) says Kentucky 69, Louisville 66. When neither team shows much of an advantage over the other, you’ve got to go with the potential home court advantage.
Kent Spencer (WHAS) says Kentucky 77, Louisville 73. The UK freshman will find their way in this environment and Rupp Arena will be the difference.
Mark Story (Lexington Herald-Leader) says Kentucky 79, Louisville 78. If I’m torn over a prediction (and I’m torn), I usually go with the team that needs victory most. This year, that’s UK.
Keith Taylor (Winchester Sun) says Louisville 72, Kentucky 68. Because of big-game experience. I have to give Louisville the slight edge. Cards win a close one.
Kent Taylor (WAVE) says Louisville 80, Kentucky 75. Cards experience and quickness in backcourt overcome Cats crowd and size.
Tyler Thompson (Kentucky Sports Radio) says Kentucky 74, Louisville 71. James Young and Julius Randle step up to help end the Year of the Cardinal.
Jerry Tipton (Lexington Herald-Leader) says Kentucky 75, Louisville 68. UK’s home court, tougher schedule make the difference.
Mark Titus (Grantland) says Kentucky 76, Louisville 71. Kentucky is the more talented team, is playing at home, and desperately needs a marquee win.
Kyle Tucker (Courier-Journal) says Louisville 75, Kentucky 70. The Cats advantages are size and home-court advantage, but the Cards have superior speed, guard play and poise. Simply put: Louisville has enough players who know how to finish big games and until it proves otherwise, Kentucky does not.
Tony Vanetti (WKRD) says Louisville 82, Kentucky 75. Kentucky jumps on Cards early. Louisville chips away, wins with late surge.
Jamie Vaught (Middlesboro Daily News) says Louisville 75, Kentucky 70. Experience will be the difference-maker. I sure hope I’m wrong 100 percent!!!
Larry Vaught (Danville Advocate-Messenger) says Kentucky 78, Louisville 74. Because of Rupp Arena a.d Aaron Harrison
Dick Vitale (ESPN) says Kentucky 74, Louisville 70. Cats will dig in says VBDI & bring joy to BBN.
T.J. Walker (Cats Illustrated) says Kentucky 69, Louisville 62. Foul trouble haunts the Cards and Rupp pushes UK to its first big win on the season.
Anthony Wireman (All KY Hoops) says Kentucky 73, Louisville 72. This could go either way but I’m picking UK based on home court advantage, post play and early-season scheduling.
Dan Wolken (USA Today) says Louisville 64, Kentucky 62. I just think Pitino will scheme to take away Randle and I don’t trust UK’s other players yet offensively to win a game like that scoring in the half court. But I have zero confidence in that pick. Kentucky could very well turn the corner at home.
- Scouting report: Kentucky’s Aaron Harrison
- Three spot from John Calipari’s Louisville presser
- Follow John Clay on Twitter
Now make your pick