In a raucous Rupp Arena, UK leads the University of Louisville 41-36 at halftime.
Louisville began the game on an 8-0 run, but UK quickly put up a 12-2 run to regain the lead.
From there, UK held a lead of a small margin through the offensive play of freshman forward Julius Randle.
Randle finished the half with 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting, using aggression while driving the ball against several Cardinals in the frontcourt.
Louisville junior guard Chris Jones kept the margin within single digits with 15 points, including 3-of-6 shooting from three. Senior guard Russ Smith added 10, eight of which came in the final seven minutes of the half. Smith rim-rattling dunk completed the first-half scoring.
UK students camped out in front of Rupp Arena on Friday night in preparation for the 4 p.m. start. The line extended along the road in front of the arena before gates opened at 2:30 p.m.