By LARRY VAUGHT
Louisville beat Kentucky 73-70 Wednesday night and gave coach Rick Pitino only his second win in 10 games against John Calipari’s Wildcats.
After the game, Pitino was lavish in his praise of the Wildcats.
“They put so much pressure on your defense every possession, but our guys did a great job, not only defensively, but attacking the rim offensively. So many teams who play Kentucky, settle on jump shots, rather than drive to the basket, and it is always a four-point play, or a five-point play because they will beat you down the court,” Pitino said.
“We made up our mind that we were going to reverse it and attack the rim, so we can get back on defense. Even then, their percentage was like 39 percent in the first half, but they were nine for 12 on the break.
“They put a lot of pressure on you and they are a terrific team, that is going to get better and better. I’m really delighted with the victory; it has been a while since we have beaten them. The crowd was electric and great. When you see college basketball with these great games, North Carolina versus Kentucky, and us, is just great for our game.””
Pitino used a different approach to help motivate his team for the game.
“I said, ‘look guys. I don’t know how many more Kentucky versus. Louisville games I have left. I hope I coach five, seven, or eight more of them, but you have to really enjoy it and have fun, because you are not going to see this experience too much,” Pitino said.
“When you look at college basketball on the screen sometimes, you don’t see this type of atmosphere. You have to really, really enjoy it’, and they did tonight. They had a lot of fun tonight, and they enjoyed it. I think Kentucky is a tough team. It was quite an impressive performance by them, coming off of the North Carolina game.”