A pair of good games tomorrow, interesting in and of themselves, but with additional spice due to the Calipari-Pitino hate-fest laid over UK and Louisville’s traditional rivalry with Ohio St – Kansas battling strength against strength with interior presence and dominant defensive point guards.
The UK-Louisville dynamic is volatile enough without adding the fact that Pitino and Calipari are mortal enemies, Pitino’s personal reputation has taken recent hits that make Lenny Dykstra recoil in disgust, and Calipari has managed to vacate and probate every school where he’s ever had success. The drama also obscures the fact that both coaches have done a wonderful job with their teams.
Pitino (six Final 4 appearances, three with seeds 4 or less) has Louisville playing with junkyard toughness and uses their press to generate some offense and make runs which, while not pretty, have put them in the Big Easy. When Lousville mans up, they hold opponents to 35% shooting and they held UK to 5 of 23 shooting earlier this season. Like UCONN last year, Louisville is playing its best basketball at the right time and they may have the best tactical coach in the college game calling their shots. (more…)