Louisville Needs To Beat Kentucky, For Kenny Payne's Sake

Louisville needs a miracle to beat Kentucky
Pepperdine v Louisville
Pepperdine v Louisville / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

The Louisville Cardinals will take on the Kentucky Wildcats this Thursday and Kenny Payne is looking for a miracle win over a top-ten Kentucky team.

Kenny Payne needs as many wins as possible if he wants any shot at being the head coach at Louisville for the rest of the season, and a win against Kentucky would certainly look good on his resume. Louisville has not beaten Kentucky since the 2020 season when the Wildcats had one of their worst seasons in recent memory. If you want to look at bigger wins against the Wildcats then the Cardinals beat a top-ten Kentucky team in 2017. However, Louisville was also ranked top ten at the time too.

It has been 6 years since Louisville has beaten a ranked Wildcat team and the Cardinal fanbase is starved for a win in the rivalry.

Louisville has looked legitimately decent at points during the season against Texas, Indiana, and Pepperdine. However, they have looked pitiful in recent weeks against DePaul and Arkansas State. Even if Louisville is at their best it would be hard to imagine Louisville beating Kentucky. If the Cardinals come out flat it could lead a big Kentucky win.

Another storyline is the fact that if the Cardinals get blown out badly head coach Kenny Payne would likely get fired. If Louisville loses they would fall to 5-7 heading into ACC play and there would not be a lot of hope going into the new year. That would also put Payne's record at 9-34, and with a record like that and a handful of awful performances, athletic director Josh Heird may actually pull the trigger and fire Payne.

There have been reports all across college basketball that Louisville will make a decision on Payne "sooner rather than later" and a bad loss to Kentucky may just trigger that firing.

If Louisville somehow pulls off a miracle and beats Kentucky then Payne would likely stay as the head coach for at least a little bit. It would then depend on how the team performs in January and in ACC play. If Louisville keeps it close and loses by 4-8 points then I would say Payne has a chance to get fired, and if they get blown out, I would say Payne is as good as gone at Louisville.

It all depends on what the final score is at the end of the game, and for Kenny Payne's sake he needs to will Louisville to win.