A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Challenging four-game stretch awaits Wildcats, starting with matchup against instate foe Louisville

Like almost everyone in his profession, Kentucky baseball coach Nick Mingione likes to take things one game at a time. But with four big home games coming up this week, even Mingione couldn’t help but look ahead.   “This week, in general, all four of our games are going to be against teams ranked in the top 10,” Mingione said. “After this weekend, I think it’s 23 of our 41 games will have...

Pitino feeling good about Cards heading into NCAA Championship play, cites play of Mango and Adel

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE–Forget Louisville’s early exit from the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. Never mind that the Cardinals dropped three of their last five games. None of that matters to coach Rick Pitino, who said Monday afternoon that he has seen his team make significant strides lately and is confident going into the NCAA Tournament Friday. UofL (24-8)...

Stakes high for Cards, Irish in finale as both teams eye double bye in next week’s ACC tourney

By Russ Brown KyForward Correspondent LOUISVILLE — Louisville’s basketball players hoped to be in contention for a share of their first Atlantic Coast Conference championship since joining the league three years ago when they meet Notre Dame Saturday afternoon. Instead, it’s the No. 19 Irish (23-7, 12-5) who will have a shot at tying North Carolina (13-4) for the title in the 2 p.m. regular...

Mitchell, Spalding combine for 43 points, No. 7 Cards rebound to spank Syracuse, 88-68

Donovan Mitchell made six 3-pointers for 25 points, Ray Spalding added 18 points with 11 rebounds and No. 7 Louisville shot 57 percent to pull away for an 88-68 victory over Syracuse on Sunday. Seeking a second-place tie with Florida State in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Cardinals rode a 14-4 run entering the break for a 15-point lead that grew to 23 early in the second half. That provided a...

Atmosphere different this year as Cards begin potential drive toward high seed in NCAA tournament

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE–Heading into the final week of the regular season, the atmosphere couldn’t be more different than at this time last year for the University of Louisville basketball team. So much more is at stake. So much more fun to experience. As the 2016 season was winding down, the Cardinals may as well have been planning where they were going to spend...

Cats take four-day break to celebrate Christmas with family and friends following loss to Cards

By Keith Taylor KyForward senior sports writer Following Kentucky’s 73-70 loss at Louisville earlier this week, Kentucky’s players and coaches returned to campus and went their separate ways for Christmas break. The Wildcats (10-2) will return to practice Monday but until then the players plan on enjoying time away from the hardwood. Kentucky guard De’Aaron Fox said the break is what the Cats...

Snider steals the show from UK’s guards as Cards snap losing streak to Cats

By Russ Brown KyForward Correspondent As Quentin Snider made his way to the middle of the University of Louisville basketball locker room, a teammate handed him a Santa Claus hat to wear for the benefit of the TV cameras and he unhesitatingly put it on. How appropriate, because Snider definitely played the role of jolly St. Nick for the Cardinals, delivering an exciting 73-70 victory over Kentucky...

More than just another game, Kentucky-Louisville rivalry more meaningful to Hawkins, Willis

By Keith Taylor KyForward senior sports writer No one understands the Kentucky-Louisville rivalry more than Dominique Hawkins. “It means a little more to me since I’m from the state,” the Kentucky senior guard said Tuesday. “I guess guys that are new here or from different states don’t really know about the Kentucky-Louisville rivalry but it’s going to be a great game (Wednesday).” Kentucky...

Cards seek successful bounce-back against UK after disappointing loss at Houston

By Russ Brown KyForward Correspondent LOUISVILLE — Coming off the most embarrassing performance by a Bobby Petrino team during his two Louisville eras, the most important question facing UofL’s football players as they prepare for Saturday’s Governor’s Cup regular-season finale at noon (ESPN) in Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium is this: How will the No. 11 Cardinals (9-2) react...

Keith Taylor: UK closing the gap against rival Louisville, seeks series breakthrough

Kentucky has closed the gap in its rivalry with Louisville during the past two seasons but has failed to seal the deal in its bid to become bowl eligible in the regular-season finale both times. The Wildcats wasted no time building a lead against the Cardinals last year and held a 21-0 advantage after the first quarter and led 24-7 at the half. Despite the fast start, Louisville rallied and scored...

Cards relieved to escape Duke’s upset bid, but rest of season may not be a cakewalk

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE — On second thought … After Louisville’s football team drubbed Florida State, then came from ahead to lose a winnable game at Clemson, prevailing conventional wisdom — including in this space — was that, after their frontloaded schedule, the No. 7 Cardinals would breeze through their remaining pedestrian Atlantic Coast Conference opponents. However,...

Louisville seeking fast start going into high-stakes ACC showdown at Clemson

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE — Bobby Petrino acknowledges that his University of Louisville football team got off to what he termed “a shaky start” against Marshall last Saturday night, with quarterback Lamar Jackson misfiring early and being bottled up as a runner as the heavily-favored Cardinals led just 7-0 after the first quarter. True, they recovered nicely and...

Louisville women to play South Carolina in Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Women’s Challenge

In the summer of 2014 and 2015, Louisville coach Jeff Walz and South Carolina coach Dawn Staley helped guide USA Basketball to consecutive gold medals. The two will see each other again this fall – from opposite sidelines – when the Cardinals and Gamecocks headline the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Women’s Challenge on Nov. 27 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. ...

After shocking loss, McDonnell vows U of L’s ‘monster’ baseball program will rebound in ’17

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE — Louisville’s 2017 baseball opener is eight months away. It may take that long for the Cardinals who are returning to get over their second straight crushing defeat in the NCAA Super Regional. The scars may still be fresh after ace closer Zack Burdi surrendered a two-out, two-strike grand slam home run in the bottom of the seventh inning...

Favored, loaded Cards seeking a better ending this time in NCAA Super Regional tourney

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE — As with virtually all coaches, the University of Louisville’s Dan McDonnell prefers his players live in the moment and not dwell on the past. One of his favorite mantras is, “So what. What’s next?” Apparently, however, that message hasn’t come through to his current crop of Cardinals as loud and clear as McDonnell...

School record three Cardinals selected in first round of MLB Draft; Ray goes fifth to White Sox

The University of Louisville baseball program had a record-setting opening night of the 2016 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft as four Cardinals were chosen in the first 62 selections, including three first rounders. Junior outfielder Corey Ray became the highest draft selection in program history going fifth overall to the Milwaukee Brewers. He was joined in the first round by junior righthanded...

Cards’ Burdi could be a top-10 MLB draft pick, but after 2015 trauma, priority is another CWS trip

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE — If the pain is still raw after 365 days, Zack Burdi isn’t showing it. Burdi, University of Louisville baseball fans will recall, had a key role in one of the Cardinals’ most bitter defeats in history, last year’s 4-3, 11th-inning loss to Cal State Fullerton in the final of the Super Regional at Jim Patterson Stadium, denying...

Second-ranked Louisville, UC Santa Barbara square off in NCAA Super Regional Baseball Championship

The Road to Omaha for the No. 2 national seed Louisville baseball team will continue Saturday at noon ET against UC Santa Barbara in game one of the 2016 NCAA Super Regional at Jim Patterson Stadium. Saturday’s Louisville Super Regional opener between the Cardinals (50-12) and Gauchos (40-18-1) will be televised on ESPN2, while game two of the best-of-three series is set for Sunday at noon on...

Rosenbaum slugs two homers, McKay fans 10 as Cardinals advance to NCAA Regional finals

Danny Rosenbaum connected for a pair of two-run homers and Brendan McKay had 10 strikeouts to lead the No. 2 national seed Louisville baseball team in a 15-3 win over Ohio State in Saturday’s NCAA Regional winners bracket game at Jim Patterson Stadium. With their 21st consecutive win at home, the Cardinals (49-12) advance to the championship round of an NCAA Regional for the fifth straight season...

UK softball comes from behind to beat Louisville; Baseball Wildcats roll past Miami of Ohio

The No. 11 Kentucky softball team scored two runs in the top of the seventh, minutes after the conclusion of a 54-minute lightning delay to come from behind to give the Wildcats a 2-1 win over the Louisville Cardinals in the annual “Battle of the Bluegrass” at Ulmer Stadium on Wednesday night. Kelsey Nunley (19-5) threw a complete game – holding the potent Louisville offense to just one run on...