LEXINGTON, Ky. - One game after its worst performance of the season, Kentucky put together its best.
Rajon Rondo scored 25 points, setting a career high for the fourth time this season, and the 23rd-ranked Wildcats rebounded from their most lopsided loss in 16 years to beat No. 4 Louisville 73-61 on Saturday.
Kentucky (7-3), which was in danger of dropping out of the Top 25 after a run of 87 straight poll appearances, beat its archrival in consecutive years for the first time since winning three straight over the Cardinals from 2000 to 2002.
"I know everyone in the United States, and especially in this state, talks about this game," Kentucky center Lukasz Obrzut said. "It's the most important game of the year."
Louisville coach Rick Pitino, who restored Kentucky basketball to glory in the 1990s as the Wildcats' coach, has a 34-3 record in December games during his five seasons with Louisville. All three losses have come to Kentucky. Pitino is 1-2 at Rupp Arena as the Cardinals' coach.
Kentucky never trailed and jumped to a double-digit lead in the first seven minutes.
The win, in front of 24,432 fans, the second-largest crowd in the 30-year history of Rupp Arena, was the 350th of Kentucky coach Tubby Smith's career.
Taquan Dean had 14 points and six assists for Louisville (6-1).
MARQUETTE 61, SAN FRANCISCO 48: Steve Novak made six of eight 3-pointers and scored 22 points as the host Golden Eagles downed the Dons.
Novak made a 3-pointer to spark a 9-0 run that gave Marquette (7-3) a 43-37 lead with 7:25 left. His sixth 3-pointer made the score 55-46 with less than 2 minutes remaining.
Jason Wallace-Carter had a team-high 17 points for San Francisco (4-6).
MARIST 56, ST. JOHN'S 53: Will Whittington scored 20, including two free throws with 24 seconds to play, as the visiting Red Foxes (3-4) earned their first win over the Red Storm (5-3).
Anthony Mason Jr., playing for the first time on the Madison Square Garden court where his father played for the New York Knicks, and Daryll Hill each had 13 points for St. John's.
PITTSBURGH 63, VERMONT 52: Carl Krauser had 21 points as the host Panthers improved to 8-0 for the fourth straight season.
Aaron Gray added 11 points and 12 rebounds and Levon Kendall had 10 points for Pittsburgh. Kyle Cieplicki had 12 points to lead the Catamounts (3-5).
OLD DOMINION 87, DEPAUL 43: Arnaud Dahi and Drew Williamson each scored 18 and the host Monarchs (7-2) turned it on in the second half to beat the Blue Demons (5-4).
Old Dominion led 29-22 at halftime, but broke it open early in the second half. Dahi had three consecutive treys to extend the lead to 47-30 with 12:56 left.
Draelon Burns led DePaul with eight points.
CINCINNATI 105, TENNESSEE TECH 62: Eric Hicks scored a season-high 19 points as the host Bearcats (6-2) romped in the first round of the Las Vegas Holiday Classic, an exempt tournament played at regional sites for the first two rounds.
Freshman point guard Devan Downey added 16 points and nine assists for Cincinnati. Anthony Fisher scored 16 for Tennessee Tech (6-2).
GEORGETOWN 70, STETSON 50: Roy Hibbert had 17 points and 10 rebounds and the host Hoyas (5-2) scored the first 15 points of the game to beat the overmatched Hatters (0-8).
Georgetown led by as many as 27 points in the first half and was up 45-20 at halftime.
RUTGERS 63, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE 45: Quincy Douby scored 21, and Ollie Bailey had 18 points and nine rebounds as the host Scarlet Knights (9-2) beat the Bulldogs (2-6).