While Louisville has its Kentucky like Marquette has its Wisconsin, something special happens every time the Cards and the Warriors meet up.
Take this audio from a decade ago, January 3, 1998.
Wardle hits to win the game, 71-70.
Since 2000, MU and UL have matched up 16 times. The record? A fitting 8-8. Nearly half of those games, the visiting team has won on hostile ground. Overtimes, triple overtimes. One, two, three point games, won on the last bucket, time and time again. Strap in.
Want to Win the Big EAST? How about starting by winning some games on the road? Maybe against a key rival? How about against a team that we love to hate?
Here are the Top Five Numbers to Know about Louisville. As always, information comes from Pomeroy's Scouting Report and Game Plan.
66% - Pomeroy's computer simulation gives us a 66% Chance of winning this game.
- Ah, if only games were played on computer, instead of on the court
- Considering that home teams have managed to hold serve consistently this year, treat this with some skepticism
- Efficiency is ((Points / Possessions)*100)
- Their Adj Def Efficiency (85.7) is 11 out of 341 teams, whereas their Offensive Efficiency is only ranked 64
- Louisville is clearly winning games on the defensive end, having only allowed four teams to crack 100 (none in the last seven games)
- On the other hand, Marquette has only been below 100 on offensive efficiency once (against SHU)
- In other words, Louisville does better on offense the more that they push the pace
- However, Louisville only averages 66.7 possessions / game
- That is one of the slowest tempos in Division 1 (211 out of 341)
- Expecting the run-and-gun pressing team from Louisville? Maybe, but it's not helping them force a faster tempo.
- In fact, Louisville is average (ranking of 162) at forcing turnovers from their opponents
- Louisville is only allowing opponents to achieve 40.3% on two-point field goals
- The Cardinals are also ranked in the top 10 in blocks
- Marquette is making 53% of our 2-point field goals, so something has to give
- OR% is the ratio of total potential offensive rebounds. Team OR / (Team OR + Opponent DR). Each defensive rebound by the opponent is a potential offensive rebound.
- Louisville is holding opponents to an average OR% of 30%
- Marquette is averaging 39.4% on offensive rebounds, but we've been below 33% against our last three opponents
- Will Marquette be able to recapture the Offensive Rebounding prowess?
Although the reputation of Pitino's teams is that of the running, pressing teams that drop 100 points, this year's Louisville team is largely winning on interior defense. I actually think that a quicker pace helps tip towards Marquette's favor, but only if that means we're able to create offensive rebounds and quality shots in the paint.
Expect another great game on Thursday night. Overtime, Triple Overtime, maybe more.
Time/TV: 6pm CST, ESPN2
Links, Links, and More Links
Official Game Links
Louisville Blogs (lots of good stuff to read through)
- Rosiak's Blog looks at Louisville with an Interview of Tom Crean
- Rosiak's Blog takes a look from Louisville's perspective. Interviews of Rick Pitino and Terrence Williams. Nice job, Todd
- Another fine preview by Eric Silver at MarquetteHoops.com
- Rosiak's Preview from the Journal-Sentinel, highlighting how important this week is for MU
- Sports Illustrated takes a look at the Surging Cardinals and Speedy Marquette
edit: Added lots more links