Kentucky vs. Louisville date set: Who has the edge?

College basketball fans will be able to send out 2022 with a bang with the newly scheduled Kentucky vs. Louisville battle on New Year’s Eve.

Last year college basketball missed out on the annual rivalry game between Kentucky and Louisville. This year, the game will be back with a splash.

Jon Rothstein reported on Wednesday that the Battle of the Bluegrass will be held on New Year’s Eve at Rupp Arena.

The two programs have enough history to make it a must-watch even, but the coaching matchup is adding to the intrigue. Kenny Payne is now the head coach of the Cardinals. He had been a long-time assistant under John Calipari before leaving to join the Knicks staff. Many argue Payne’s influence was a large part of the Kentucky head coach’s success.

Kentucky vs. Louisville date set: Who has the edge?

While Payne would certainly love to make a statement against his former boss, it’ll be a tall task to get one over on this Kentucky squad.

Oscar Tshiebwe is coming back for another season and he’s a handful few teams will be able to slow. Calipari has also compiled another stellar recruiting class featuring five stars Cason Wallace and Chris Livingston.

Meanwhile, Payne is going to have to rebuild the Cardinals roster after a slew of transfers. The talent gap right now is too wide.

Of course, Calipari’s Wildcats are far from impervious. Despite having the player of the year in college basketball last year, they were bounced from the first round by Saint Peter’s, who certainly faced a talent gap in that game as well.

When it comes down to it, it’s best to bet on Tshiebwe here. Kentucky has the edge unless Payne pulls off a masterstroke of coaching.

For more NCAA basketball news, analysis, opinion and features, check out more from the FanSided college basketball section to stay on top of the latest action.

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