Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Buckets of Fun: UofL Set to Open the Yum! Center

The Lousiville Cardinals are set to open the KFC Yum! Center (aka The Bucket) tonight against the #16 Butler Bulldogs in front of 22,000 chirping Dirty Birds. There are some interesting story lines to look at:

  • Who will start?- Pitino says the only two for sure starters tonight will be point guard Peyton Siva and overrated Kyle Kuric. I find this to be quite silly. I am sure Pitino is using this as some kind of motivational technique but I don't see how Rakeem Buckles is not a for sure starter. He is the most athletic guy on the team and could be the difference on defense. My starting 5: Siva, Kuric, Buckles, Jennings and Knowles if his is healthy to go. If not, pencil in Mike Marra. I am sure everyone is excited to see that awesome clown in a straight jacket tattoo.
  • Can Louisville play with Butler?- The Cardinals are basically starting a new team compared to last year. Butler is returning 11 guys from a national title game run, of course that one guy missing is their best player, Gordon Hayward. But Kentucky's own Shelvin Mack is a top tier guard and is difficult to defend and Hayward did not do it all by himself last year. Will experience and shooting ability win over speed and youth? Butler is going to try to slow the game down to their pace and if they can do that it could get ugly. If Louisville can play fast like they want, they can keep it close and even pull off the upset.
  • Does this game mean all that much if Louisville loses?- Not really. This is a brutal game to start with. While most teams start their season off with cupcakes Louisville opted to open their arena with a challenge and I applaud them for that. If they lose this game early, it's no big deal. This is a veteran team they are going against and in all reality Louisville should lose this game. They will have a Big East schedule to rely on to figure their season out and make a run later in the year.
  • Will the arena be loud?- I'm not so sure about that one. People that I have talked to that have been in the arena say that the student section is very small. Most of these newer arenas, including this one, are catered toward people with money so they get the best seats and they don't tend to cheer very loudly (ask Terry Meiners his opinion of that). If Louisville would have been smart they would have made the student section big and on the court. But let's see how it plays out tonight.
  • Does Ricky P remember 2003?- If you ask him he doesn't. He refused to comment when he was asked about the upset Butler pulled over Louisville in the 2003 NCAA tournament. But he better not forget it and he better use that as motivation to get some revenge.
Here is my prediction: Louisville is going to play fast but they will be sloppy. Butler will have too much experience for the Cards but I think the emotions of opening the new arena will help Louisville keep it close. Butler 75- Louisville 70

I will be live bloggin' this game and I will try to be as fair and balanced as I can be. I can't make any promises. I guarantee these things if you chooses to participate: I will make fun of Steven Van Treese and Mike Marra because they are the goofiest looking dudes on any basketball team this year; there will be at least one taser joke about Jennings; I can't predict the number of Sypher/AIDS/Porcini/abortion jokes about Pitino, but it will be big; it will be a lot of fun and laughs will be shared.

Let's make some magic.

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