Just to recap: Round One went to Louisville via a viscious TKO. The judges scored the bout 71-51 in favor of the Cardinals. BTW, Louisville fans are ready for the next rev.
The Cardinals (16-6, 6-3) swoop into Milwaukee as winners of three of their last four games. Earl Clark and Terrence Williams each delivered double-doubles in Louisville's 87-50 mauling of Rutgers on Saturday. The Cardinals are the most offensively balanced team in the Big East, with five players averaging in double figures. Terrence Williams and Jerry f@!@#$g Smith each average a shade over 11ppg, followed by Earl Clark, David Padgett and Derrick Caracter at 10ppg. The Cardinals are a ferocious defensive team, one of the best in the nation particularly inside the arc. It is no surprise that Louisville held each of its last three opponents to 40% shooting or less.
After Saturday's impressive 75-60 road win over Cincinnati, the Golden Eagles (16-4, 6-3) return home on Monday night where they are 12-0 this season. Marquette's win was keyed by the inspired play of the reincarnated Ousmane Barro, who contributed 19 points (9-10 from the field) and 10 boards off the bench. Barro's effort complemented another fine performance by Lazar Hayward (19 pts, 5 boards), who's fast becoming one of the Big East's best forwards. The outburst from the frontline helped MU out-rebound a team for the first time in nearly a month.
With back-to-back road games looming at Notre Dame and Seton Hall, a home win is essential for MU if the Golden Eagles expect to compete for one of four first round byes in the Big East tournament (if not the regular season crown itself). Louisville owns two conference road wins, though the Cardinals lost their most recent road game at UConn.
A few other random notes:
- Dominic James is just not the same player since the Jamar Nutter hard foul back on January 8. Since then James is only hitting 37% from the field and has failed to score in double digits in four of his last five outings - - the worst stretch of his career.
- What is going on with David Cubillan? He played just seven minutes against Cincy and failed to score, and in 21 minutes of action against USF he came up with just three points. As well as Ville defends the paint, MU could use a productive Cubillan tonight.
- Lazar Hayward scored in double figures in each of the last four games, which is no surprise.......the 6'6" sophomore now leads MU in scoring at 13.7ppg and leads the team in double figure scoring games with 17.
- Wesley Matthews has rounded into form. Since struggling to a season-low four points against Seton Hall, Matthews is averaging better than 13 points per outing.
- GoMarquette.com preview
- AP preview
- Kentucky.com previews the matchup
- Rosiak says MU/Louisville is becoming a classic. Um, no kidding
- CardChronicle offers a painful reminder
- Big East Basketball Report preview
When we did our preview the for the last game, the key areas to watch for were Louisville's Defense, especially at limiting 2-point FGs and on blocked shots. We've already covered that, and not a lot has changed on the Louisville Pomeroy Scouting Report. True to form, the recap of the last game showed that Louisville was better than Marquette at almost every facet of the game. MU was even victim to several season lows in offensive efficiency, effective Field Goal Percentage, and defensive Free Throw Rate.
8 - Louisville's National Rating at Defensive Efficiency
- Louisville holds opponents to a score of 85.5 on the defensive end
- Last time we played, they were ranked 11
- Holding Marquette to an efficiency of 78.0 helped there
- Louisville holds opponents to an effective Field Goal Percentage of 43.1%
- As mentioned above, a lot of this is from inside the arc, where opponents only achieve 40.7%
- That percentage is #9 in the country
- This was a season low, and our next lowest was 40.2% against Seton Hall
- Expect Marquette to fare much better (especially from three) in front of the home crowd
- Louisville got to the line 60% of the time that they had a Field Goal Attempt
- Will Marquette be able to keep this percentage lower? Louisville only gets to the line 23.9% of the time on average.
- Of course, we were also given a 66% chance of winning the last game, and we all know how that turned out