Kentucky vs. Louisville: Live stream, watch online, TV channel, tipoff time, odds, line, pick
One of the best rivalries in college basketball goes down Saturday on CBS
No. 19 ?Kentucky is in the midst of a rare losing streak under coach John Calipari heading into Saturday's game vs. No. 3 Louisville. And following losses in Las Vegas to Utah and then to Ohio State?in the CBS Sports Classic, Wildcat fans may be feeling a little antsy about how this season is unfolding. But it's not time to hit the panic button on UK just yet.
"Last game I thought we did really good competing, then last five minutes we wouldn't pass to each other," Calipari said Friday. "It's stuff we need to work on. The games we've lost have been by a couple buckets. I know it's devastation and it's the worst, but literally a couple buckets. All the games. I mean, we could be 11-0."
That's a glass-half-full approach from Calipari, and he's right to take it; Kentucky can match talent for talent with just about anyone in college basketball. But getting on track this season is one thing, getting on track against an experienced Louisville team is quite another.
"Louisville is good now," Calipari said. "Jordan [Nwora] is as good as they get, Dwayne [Sutton] is playing good. This is a really good basketball team. They defend, they really guard and give you tough looks. It'll be a hard game for us."
That respect has been reciprocated by Louisville coach Chris Mack, who is 0-1 as the Cardinals coach facing the rival Wildcats. On Friday, he issued some high praise to "impressive" Kentucky and peeled back the curtain on how Louisville may try to combat the size and talent they're up against.
"They're the most athletic team we've played," Mack said. "They can make plays both on and off the ball, they're extremely impressive. They strike in transition, try to turn you over, how they pump teams on the glass is extremely impressive."
Mack and his Louisville attack have been pretty impressive in their own right this season. Louisville enters Saturday 11-1, ranked No. 3 in the latest AP Top 25, and a win away from its best start to a season since 2014. It has outclassed its opponents in virtually every game, but this could be its toughest test yet. It also serves as its first away game since the season-opener two months ago.
"It's not going to be an easy environment," Mack said. "They're obviously down after losing a couple games, they've got competitive kids, it's gonna be a challenge -- and one I hope we're up for."
- When: Saturday, Dec. 28 at 3:45 p.m. ET
- Where: Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky
- TV:?CBS |?Connected TV:?CBS All-Access
- Live stream:?CBSSports.com?|?Mobile:?CBS Sports App?
Louisville: Save for a surprising loss on a neutral court to Texas Tech two weeks ago, Louisville has had a near-perfect start to its season. And still yet, it needs a little more substance. With ACC play looming, a win over the Wildcats would serve as a confidence-booster and a shot in the arm to an otherwise lacking resume. This is Louisville's first away game against a top-25 KenPom team all season and just its second overall regardless of location. How the Cardinals fare could serve as a true litmus test for how conference play, which starts next week, may unfold.
Kentucky: This season has been an odd one for Kentucky. If you told UK fans it would open the season with a win over preseason No. 1 Michigan State, they'd be partying all the way to a No. 1 seed. And yet even with the win over Sparty they've managed to stumble, with losses to Evansville, Utah and Ohio State mucking up the early portion of the season. This team is going through some growing pains as its youngsters get up to speed, but a corner-turn is inevitable given Calipari's coaching history and acumen. Will it come Saturday, though? Kentucky has only lost in this rivalry twice this decade, so at-present momentum aside, it has more than a fighting chance to leave Louisville wounded inside Rupp.
Game prediction, pick?
Latest odds via SportsLine: Kentucky -1
Essentially a pick 'em, and I think that's about where I expected this line would be. And even with Kentucky's recent struggles, I can't get away from them here. I know Evansville managed to sneak one out at Rupp, but I think Kentucky will be highly motivated to make sure its losing streak stays in Vegas. Pick: Kentucky -1
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