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Friday Evening Cardinal News And Notes

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The Tikes for Trez movement is in full swing. Eli is making sure of that.

I_medium Spread Check: Kentucky by 6.

I_medium Your standard AP preview of the Commonwealth clash.

I_medium Really going to miss this.

I_medium Jay Bilas breaks down the big game (Insider).

I_medium CBS says that if you could only watch one game for the rest of the 2014-15 season, it would have to be Saturday's.

I_medium Kentucky has played a handful of games away from Rupp Arena already, but this will be their first true road game of the season.

"This is gonna be the craziest first road game for even us," junior forward Willie Cauley-Stein said. "I can only imagine what it's gonna feel like for the freshmen."

Unlike Calipari's previous Kentucky squads, the current Wildcats will have a plethora of road experience working on their side in Saturday's game. Five of Kentucky's nine primary rotation players are sophomores or juniors.

Cauley-Stein even has played at the Yum! Center in an 80-77 loss in 2012.

"It's loud," he said. "It's a really fun environment, because they hate us."

Learning to thrive on that animosity may be key for Kentucky players Saturday.

"We look forward to it," sophomore point guard Andrew Harrison said. "It is going to be fun."

It's worth noting, perhaps, that Kentucky has lost its first true road game in each of the last four seasons.

I_medium Louisville and Kentucky are the top two defenses in college basketball, but Rob Dauster of NBC Sports says their effective in two very different ways.

I_medium SB Nation's Canis Hoopus (Minnesota Timberwolves) talks Gorgui.

I_medium There's condescending, and then there's John Calipari's recent "we need to be tested" mantra.

John Calipari has won six of seven matchups against Louisville during his time at Kentucky. And his team is favored Saturday.

He said he's excited to see how the Wildcats (12-0) respond to the environment.

"We need somebody to punch us in the face," Calipari said. "Now let's see if we can still have fun. Can we enjoy this? If we're a world-class team, you enjoy this even if they're coming after you. It's going to be a tough game for us. We know that."

I_medium Cal also said Friday that he's really worried about Louisville's "Smith." There is not a Smith on the Cardinal roster.

I_medium The Lexington Herald-Leader's Mark Story takes a look at which team has the advantage at each position.

I_medium Lorenzo Mauldin says he realized that he had a new family at Louisville on the day of his very first practice as a Cardinal.

Lorenzo Mauldin will never forget his first practice in a Louisville Cardinals uniform. He'll never forget it, because for a fleeting moment, he thought the beginning was actually the end.

Mauldin went in to make a tackle, and instead of using his body, he attempted a more violent take-down and soared forward head-first. The freshman defensive end crumpled to the ground.

"I couldn't move, so they put me on a stretcher and took me to the hospital," Mauldin said. "To say I was freaked out would be an understatement. I was crying. I was scared. I hadn't even played my first game yet and I'm paralyzed? I'm thinking, 'I can't move, this is bad.' But Coach Strong was in my ear saying, 'You're OK. You're OK.'"

It turned out that Mauldin was just having a muscle spasm that had reverberated down his back. Yes, it was terrifying. No, it was not dangerous. But it was an important moment for him, because it was the moment he realized he was not alone. It was the moment he realized his new family, his Cardinal family, was there for him.

I_medium Jeff Greer (and Seth Greenberg) take a closer look at Terry Rozier's recent string of success.

I_medium Seth Davis picks Kentucky by 10, which means we should still watch the game.

I_medium Winsipedia compares the Louisville and Georgia football programs.

I_medium For all those looking to send their well wishes to Scott "The Boogie Man" Spicer, he is now at the Frazier Rehab Center downtown.

I_medium Rick Bozich looks at John Calipari's recent dominance of Louisville by the numbers.

I_medium Sports Illustrated's Chris Johnson is the latest to say that Louisville is the toughest stop remaining on Kentucky's road to perfection.

Kentucky's win over UCLA added more fuel to the most compelling storyline in college basketball this season. The Wildcats opened on a 24-0 run, took a 41-7 at halftime on the Bruins and went on to win by 39 points. Kentucky shot 50 percent from the field and 46 percent from three-point range, limited UCLA to 19-of-71 shooting and blocked nearly a quarter of their two-point field goal attempts. The Wildcats thoroughly outclassed a storied, blueblood program expected to finish in the top half of a major conference.

The performance furthered the belief -- which began picking up steam after a 32-point win over then-No. 5 Kansas last month -- that Kentucky will run the table this season. For those still pushing back against the undefeated talk, Bruins coach Steve Alford articulated why it's a distinct possibility. "There's not a weakness on the team," Alford said afterward. "It is, it wasn't a fun team for me to watch today, but I'll enjoy watching it the rest of the season, because it's good basketball that's really well coached with really good players."

If Kentucky does lose this season, there's a good chance it will happen on Saturday at No. 4 Louisville. Like the No. 1 Wildcats, the No. 4 Cardinals enter this game with an undefeated record (11-0), having knocked off three KenPom top-50 squads (MinnesotaOhio State and Indiana). Coach Rick Pitino's team excels at stopping opponents: It ranks second in the nation in Kenpom's adjusted defensive efficiency, fourth in block percentage, sixth in effective field goal percentage defense and seventh in turnover percentage.

I_medium The C-J looks at the five biggest matchups in tomorrow's game.

I_medium ESPN looks at everything that will be on the line Saturday afternoon inside the Yum Center.

I_medium And finally, beat Kentucky.