Updated 11 months ago by Kyle Scott
Coach Calipari told the media he didn't know who his starting five would be when his Cats traveled to Louisville to play the no. 3 Cardinals. And it was clear that he thought long and hard about it.
Cal went with Nerlens Noel and Willie Cauley-Stein in the frontcourt and three guards in the backcourt -- Ryan Harrow, Archie Goodwin and Julius Mays.
For the first time this season, Alex Poythress came off the bench. Kyle Wiltjer came off the bench for the second game in a row.
The strategy paid off early as the Cats led for a significant part of the first half, including a six-point lead midway through the half (18-12). Peyton Siva made an acrobatic lay-up to break a three minute scoreless drought for Louisville. The Cardinals went on a 13-2 run of their own to take the lead for the latter part of the half.
Poythress could have ended the scoring drought with two free throws; instead, it was a Noel dunk that broke the drought. Noel stole the ball from a Cardinal following a Poythress miss.
Kentucky tied the game at 25 (six ties in the first half), but Louisville continued to force turnovers and Siva made two three-pointers to help give the Cardinals a 36-28 halftime lead.