Russ Smith scored 21 points and Chane Behanan had 20 and No. 4 Louisville ended a four-game losing streak against rival Kentucky with an up-and-down 80-77 victory on Saturday.
Peyton Siva added 19 points as the Cardinals (12-1) won a hard-fought Battle of the Bluegrass. Though the Cardinals trail the series 30-15, their victory followed last spring's 69-61 national semifinal loss to the Wildcats, who went on to win their eighth national championship.
But Louisville had to withstand several charges from Kentucky to do so. The Wildcats trailed 51-34 but outscored the Cardinals 28-14 to get within 65-62 before Smith's two baskets keyed an 8-5 run to give Louisville some space.
Behanan sealed Louisville's win with late two dunks, the final one following his steal of a pass by Archie Goodwin with 18 seconds remaining.
Goodwin scored 19 of his 22 points in the second half for Kentucky (8-4).