Kentucky Basketball: Why Wildcats will be better than Louisville in 2020-21

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Kentucky Basketball

LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY – DECEMBER 28: Jordan Nwora #33 of the Louisville Cardinals shoots the ball against the Kentucky Wildcats (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Both Kentucky Basketball and Louisville loses a ton of talent from this past season. But who will be the better team in 2020-21? Here are a few reasons why the Wildcats have the edge.

It took Kentucky an extra period to knock off their long time rival during arguably the team’s most entertaining game from last year. Although Louisville fought hard, steamrolling back against the Wildcats with a 37 point second half, they fell short during the overtime period, adding a lackluster encore to their second-half efforts by scoring only 9 points compared to Kentucky’s 17.

With a game-high 27 points, Tyrese Maxey really made Louisville bleed, hitting 4/5 three-pointers while leaving his defenders gasping for air. But coming up big during the direst situation, Nick Richards added seven points during the overtime period, dominating down low and pushing the Wildcats back into the lead following some early three-pointers from Dwayne Sutton and Jordan Nwora. Richards also picked up a double-double thanks to his overtime heroics, helping Kentucky continue to return any blows throw their way by Louisville, and eventually leading them to their third straight victory over the Cardinals.

But for next year, we know both these players plan to take their talents to the professional level, as Maxey remains a projected lottery pick while Richards highlights the field as a potential second-round steal. Team assist leader Ashton Hagans, who iced things against Louisville with an overtime steal and dunk, also plans to leave the program too. These three only highlight the departing assembly though, as nearly every other player plans to leave Lexington either through the draft or transfer portal.

On the other hand, though, Louisville lost a great deal this spring as well. With Dwayne Sutton, Steve Enoch, Fresh Kimble, and Nwora among others leaving the program, expect the Cardinals to also rely heavily on their incoming freshmen. But for this reason amongst others, the Wildcats seem certain to emerge victorious from this interstate rivalry once again.

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