March is here and college basketball is getting close to madness. Fans of the game will see two great programs, in a great rivalry, face-off Saturday afternoon as the Louisville Cardinals will take on the Memphis Tigers. Louisville has won the last seven straight, including a 88-66 win Thursday night at home over Temple. Memphis lost three games in the month of February including losing to Houston Thursday night 77-68. All of their losses were on the road.
Memphis will be home Saturday for the 2pm tip-off on CBS. The Cards are 16-22 all-time when playing at Memphis. Louisville played and lost at home against Memphis in January, 73-67.
Pitino said talked to the media after the Temple win about playing Memphis again:
“Our worst game of the season was Memphis. You have to give them credit because they made us look bad. That was our poorest performance of the season at the defensive end. We did a lot of things that were uncharacteristic of us, but we are a much different team now then when we played them. We always try to just get better in the month of February leading into March. I think we have gotten a lot better. We are a good basketball team right now even though we may be business class I think we are still pretty good.”
Lineups via GoCards.com
Louisville is a different team now then the last time Memphis saw them. Chane Behanan was just kicked off the team and Louisville was still trying figure out who they were. Pitino was scrabbling the lineup and praying his big men would step up.
The Cards know who they are now, they are a fast moving machine and Memphis will see what they can do Saturday.
In the last game Louisville kept up with them in rebounds despite their depth underneath, the Cards seem to have their guard rebounding better so I don’t see Louisville losing this battle again.
Memphis’ leader Shaq Goodwin has struggled with fouls lately, which has made the team struggle. The Tigers cannot compete if Goodwin is not on the floor, he scored 15 points to help the Tigers upset the Cards in January. He is physical and poses some problems for Louisville if they cannot contain him. Expect Mathiang to be on him most of the first-half to try to draw some quick fouls.
Luke Hancock was left open a lot last game, but he only hit two of eight shots from outside. If they leave him alone again he wont miss.
Hancock will lead the Cards in scoring with 18, including three threes.
Montrezl Harrell will lead the team in rebounds with nine, he will also have 12 points.
Wayne Blackshear will be the story of the game with 13 points, six boards and two blocks off the bench.
Louisville will win 77-70.
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