On Saturday, the No. 4 Louisville Cardinals take on the No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats in a Final Four matchup for the right to advance to the 2012 NCAA Tournament's National Championship game. These two teams met back on Dec. 31, and the Wildcats pulled out a 69-62 win over the Cardinals, and SB Nation's Mike Rutherford thinks that first matchup tells us a lot about what should happen in the rematch. According to Rutherford, Louisville will once again try to speed up the tempo to force Marquis Teague into turnovers and create a pace where Peyton Siva can thrive.
What Happened In The First Meeting On Dec. 31 -- A 69-62 Win For Kentucky
It's hard to take a considerable amount away from a game in which there were 52 total fouls called and the teams combined to shoot 70 (70!) free-throws, but let's try anyway.
Kentucky gave its poorest shooting performance of the season at 17-of-57 from the field (29.8 percent) and 3-of-16 (18.8 percent) from beyond the arc, but still managed to defeat their in-state rivals thanks in large part to a gigantic rebounding advantage (57-31) and a 32-of-43 performance from the free-throw line...
...Louisville's game-plan for stopping Kentucky is likely similar to what it was before the first meeting: defend the perimeter, speed Teague up and try to turn him over, allow Siva to create, and make some open shots. Kentucky will again attempt to exploit its advantages in the areas of size and athleticism. They're also not going to let Kuric or Chris Smith beat them with outside shots...
Here is the game time and TV schedule for the rematch on Saturday:
(4) Louisville Cardinals vs. (1) Kentucky Wildcats
Game date: Saturday, March 31
Game time: 5:09 p.m. CT