Louisville vs. Kentucky: Final Game Predictions

What will the outcome be of this year's battle of the bluegrass?

Louisville v Kentucky
Louisville v Kentucky / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

Louisville will take on the Kentucky tonight at 6:00 on ESPN, and the stakes could not be higher for the Cardinals. Kenny Payne's job could be on the line, and a win over the Wildcats could certainly help him in trying to sway Louisville to keep him going into the new year.

Kentucky is currently #9 in the country, and that is for good reason. They have battled good teams very closely this year and only having 2 losses on the year shows that. Kentucky lost to Kansas earlier in the year but lost surprisingly to UNC Wilmington just a few weeks ago. Kentucky has been consistently good all year, but if they start to miss their shots it could spell trouble for them.

Louisville has had a very disappointing season so far and head coach Kenny Payne was on the verge of getting fired if the Cardinals lost to Pepperdine. However, for good or for bad, Louisville beat Pepperdine by 22 points. If Payne's team gets blown out in this game it wouldn't be hard to see Louisville firing Payne before the new year. However, if Payne wills Louisville to a win it could certainly buy him some more time with the Cardinals.

Louisville will need players like Skyy Clark and Mike James to continue to play well, while guys like Brandon Huntley-Hatfield and Tre White will need to step up if Louisville wants a win. Louisville needs everyone to play well if they want any chance in this game, and if they don't put forth all their effort against Kentucky they will not win this game. Especially when going up against players like Aaron Bradshaw and Reed Sheppard.

I'm looking for the Cardinals to put up a better fight than most people would think, but due to Kentucky's talent and Louisville's track record I can't see the Cardinals winning this one.

It should be close early, but expect the Wildcats to pull away towards the end of the first half and especially in the second half. Hopefully, the Cards prove me wrong, but it is likely going to be a Kentucky win.

Louisville 63, #9 Kentucky 78