Cardinal Basketball Flashback: 2017 Louisville vs. Kentucky

The last time Louisville took down Kentucky in a full arena was too long ago

Kentucky v Louisville
Kentucky v Louisville / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

With Louisville taking on Kentucky this week in what is a bleak matchup for the Cardinals, I wanted to take a look at the last great win in the series for the Cards.

The 2016-17 season was certainly an interesting one for Louisville as they were top 15 pretty much all year and yet they failed to make it past the round of 32 against Michigan. The season had some great moments, but ultimately fell short in the postseason. Even though players like Donovan Mitchell, Quentin Snyder, Deng Adel, and various other good Louisville players were on this team.

Both teams were 10-1 going into the game, with Kentucky having a loss to UCLA and Louisville having a loss to Baylor. Louisville was ranked 10th at the time while Kentucky was ranked 6th. It was these kinds of matchups that both fans lived for, and the game did not disappoint.

Going into this game Kentucky guard Malik Monk had dropped 47 points on North Carolina and it was looking like Louisville would not have an answer for him.

Boy were Kentucky fans wrong, as Monk was held to 1/9 from three and held to just 16 points. That is pretty impressive when compared to 47 points against a Roy Williams UNC team.

Another storyline was that this was Rick Pitino's final year at Louisville. No one knew this at the time, but looking back and seeing Pitino got the final win over John Calipari is quite satisfying.

The game was back in forth throughout most of the game, but there are certain moments that stand out as great highlights from this era of Louisville basketball.

Louisville was down 20-14 midway through the first quarter and then the Cardinals decided to go on an 8-0 run that lit up the Yum Center. It was all captivated by a transition 3 by Deng Adel that lit the arena on fire and led to one of my favorite "That's enough I'm taking a timeout" moments from John Calipari.

Louisville then went up 26-22, and after a block, Donovan Mitchell was hit in transition for another 3-pointer that resulted in a 7-point Cardinal lead and finished off a 15-2 run. At this point, the Yum Center is going berserk and the Cardinal fans are going wild. Although Kentucky eventually finds a rhythm and Louisville is only up 40-39 at halftime.

The game was extremely tight throughout the entire second half. Donovan Mitchell, Quentin Snyder, and Deng Adel led the way with most of the scoring but Jaylen Johnson was the saving grace of this game.

Johnson scored 14 points and 6 rebounds, many of them being crucial offensive boards. The most important being the end of the game put the Cardinals up two points with a big putback board. However, the true shining star of this game had to be Quentin Snider. He scored a game-high 22 points, and the Louisville native was destined to lead his hometown Cards to a victory. He also had 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and 2 made threes.

If I had to pick the best play that Snider made during the game it would have to be the famous "breaking Bam Adebayo" move that Snider pulled out on the NBA lottery pick.

The game eventually came down to a hail-mary three-point attempt from Kentucky's Malik Monk, and after the shot was missed the rebound went down to Adel and Louisville won the game. Adel chucked the ball into the rafters and the Cardinal fans were screaming with joy that night.

The 2017 game between the Cards and the Cats is one of the better rivalry games in recent memory, and the hopes are that the basketball program can get back to this one day. Maybe they will get there tomorrow when they face the Wildcats. It is unlikely, but I know one-day things will get better for this program.

For now, let us relish in what will always be an instant classic in the Louisville and Kentucky basketball rivalry.

#10 Louisville 73, #6 Kentucky 70