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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Louisville vs. Arizona: staff picks

    Lance Madden

    associate sports editor

    Yes, Rick Pitino has the experience -ÿhe is 8-0 in Sweet 16 games. He has three dozen more wins as a head coach in NCAA Tournament play than Russ Pennell does. But there’s something magical about this Arizona squad. Call it Lute’s Legacy if you want. Call it crazy. Call it the aftermath of Aubrey Coleman’s stomp. Call it flat-out luck. But don’t call the Wildcats out just yet.

    Arizona 81, Louisville 71 (OT)

    Brian Kimball

    sports writer

    We all know about the similarities between this year’s ‘Cats and the 1997 squad. How they beat a No. 1-seeded Rick Pitino coached team. Sorry to break it to you, but it’s not gonna happen this time. Louisville’s high energy, pressing defense will be too much for a not-so-deep Arizona team to handle. Budinger, Hill and Wise need to play out of their gourds AND get help in order for the UA to have a chance at winning.

    Louisville 83, Arizona 70

    Bryan Roy

    associate sports editor

    After everything the Wildcats have experienced during the past five months, nothing can surprise me anymore. If Jamelle Horne fouls Terrence Williams at half court with 3 seconds left in a tie game, then that might surprise me. Or would it? It’s been that kind of season and the Wildcats’ run into the Sweet 16 has put Tucson back on the basketball map. But all good things must come to an end.

    Louisville 76, Arizona 68

    B-Roy’s Breakdown

    Back court: UA point guard Nic Wise will face an eerily similar full-court press in Louisville’s defense: It’s the same sort of trapping that the Wildcats have executed all season long. The Cardinals’ full-court pressure is a bit similar to Washington’s – which Wise excelled through in both matchups this season.

    Advantage: Arizona

    Front court: Anytime a player is a serious candidate for his conference’s Player of the Year award, there’s got to be an advantage. No less, Terrence Williams was a candidate for the Big East – as in, the deepest conference in the nation. Who will guard the play-making Williams?

    Advantage: Louisville

    Bench: There’s a reason the Cardinals earned the Tournament’s No. 1 overall ranking: Despite stumbling out of the gates to begin this season with losses to Western Kentucky, Minnesota and UNLV, Louisville is undoubtedly one of the nation’s elite teams. There shouldn’t be a reason why this team doesn’t make the Elite Eight. Which means, they’re bench is a whole lot deeper than Arizona’s essentially six- or seven-man roster.

    Advantage: Louisville

    Intangibles: Arizona faces its second-straight weekend of an East Coast road trip. Between flipping the clocks back three hours and just the sheer difficulty on an already razor-thin roster, the Wildcats’ magic season should run short in Indianapolis. Plus, it’s a football stadium, so outside shots will take some time to get used to due to the elevated court.

    Advantage: Louisville

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