Tag Archives: Louisville Cardinals

Hoosiers show promise in loss to No. 4 Louisville

No. 4 Louisville’s 20-point margin of victory over Indiana in its 94-74 win Tuesday night wasn’t indicative of how competitive the game really was in Madison Square Garden. Similarly to the Hoosiers’ 17-point loss at No. 4 Syracuse last season, Indiana held an early lead in the second half but let the game slip away in ugly fashion towards the end.

The Hoosiers, who thrive on three-point shooting, were held to one made shot from behind the arc in the second half — a Yogi Ferrell three-pointer that gave them a four-point advantage with 17:23 left in the game.

Getting hot from deep was the one way Indiana could’ve pulled off the upset. A 7-of-10 effort from downtown in the first half kept the Hoosiers within striking distance as they trailed 46-41 at halftime.

It’s no secret that three-pointers are worth more points than a shot anywhere else on the floor. Indiana’s rate of success on three-point attempts, which wasn’t sustainable for 40 minutes against the second most efficient defense in college basketball, made up for Louisville’s clear advantage in the rebounding and turnover departments.

The Cardinals manhandled the Hoosiers in the paint. Louisville had a 52-34 advantage on the glass, grabbing 26 of its 44 missed shots (a 59.1 percent offensive rebounding rate). Offensive rebounds led to second-, third- and even a fifth-chance opportunity for Louisville to score. In total, 26 offensive rebounds led to 25 second-chance points against Indiana.

Rick Pitino’s Cardinals made the Hoosiers pay for their lack of size and ability to box out. Indiana junior forward Hanner Mosquera-Perea, 6-foot-9, was Indiana’s only rotation player who had the size to match up with Louisville’s enormous front line.

All-American candidate Montrezl Harrell, who has the size and the skill to more or less play like a “Monstar” from “Space Jam,” had 21 points, 11 rebounds and became Louisville’s all-time leader in dunks after he threw down seven slams against the Hoosiers.

“In my opinion, he’s the best player in the nation,” Pitino told reporters after the game. “Montrezl Harrell plays every possession like he hasn’t eaten in a week.”

While Mosquera-Perea drew two charges against Harrell and showed polish offensively with 10 points, Harrell was too much for Indiana to handle. Mosquera-Perea was limited to 20 minutes after picking up four fouls in the game.

When Indiana’s starting big man was out of the game, Indiana coach Tom Crean relied on 6-foot-7 forwards Troy Williams, Emmitt Holt and Collin Hartman to hold down the fort, but Louisville was just too big.

If Harrell wasn’t slipping behind Indiana’s 2-3 zone defense and bringing the house down with his dunks, it was Chinanu Onuaku, Mangok Mathiang, Anas Mahmoud or Jaylen Johnson giving the Hoosiers matchup problems in the post.

While Indiana’s backcourt largely broke the Cardinal’s full-court pressure with ease, Louisville’s duo of upperclassmen guards wore down the Hoosiers and ultimately had the final say. Indiana shot just 40.6 percent from the field in the second half and had 19 turnovers in the game.

“Sooner or later, shooters’ legs are gonna get weary and that’s all we were trying to do,” Pitino said.

Chris Jones and Terry Rozier, who led Louisville’s intense defensive ball pressure, combined for 50 points, seven three-pointers, 15 rebounds and six assists.

“That’s what relentless, attacking basketball on both ends looks like,” Crean said.

Indiana fought against a more talented and much bigger Louisville team that is among the best in the nation.

Crean said he hasn’t seen Kentucky and Duke, the top two teams in the polls, play this season but he’d put Louisville in that conversation with the best teams in the country.

“They’re going to be hard to beat,” he said. “I don’t care who’s out there.”

Outside of a trip to Madison, Wisc. to face the Badgers on Feb. 3, it is unlikely Indiana will play a team as talented as the Cardinals the rest of the season.

In defeat, the Hoosiers showed heart, a potent offense and a yet-to-be-defined ceiling. While Louisville had its highest scoring outburst of the season and won by double figures, Indiana made a positive impression on Pitino.

“They’re gonna be an NCAA tournament team,” he said. “There’s no doubt in my mind.”

 

Quotes courtesy of reporters who were in New York and shared them on Twitter. 

Indiana to face No. 4 Louisville in Jimmy V Classic

What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? We’ll find out when Indiana (7-1) and No. 4 Louisville (7-0) meet Tuesday night in Madison Square Garden for the Jimmy V Classic.

Indiana, who has only been held to fewer than 80 points once this season, will face intense ball pressure from Louisville that is unlike any defense the Hoosiers have faced this season.

Indiana coach Tom Crean said the Cardinals are as good of a defensive pressure team as any he has seen this year.

“The bottom line is, they never go away and they don’t let up,” Crean said of Louisville after Indiana’s 95-49 win against Savannah State on Saturday. “And their guards are extremely physical in the sense of how well they get up into the ball. You really have to be able to run your zone offense and run it, run it crisply and sharp and get movement.”

The Hoosiers’ offense has been a well-oiled machine through their opening eight games, ranking 12th in offensive efficiency in the country, but it will be put to the test on Tuesday.

Louisville has forced turnovers on 27.7 percent of its opponents’ offensive possessions and no one has scored more than 68 points in a game against the Cardinals.

Crean said he was prepared to face strong defenses in Indiana’s non-conference schedule with games against SMU and Pittsburgh, but taking care of the ball against Louisville is even more paramount.

“Louisville is at the head of the class on that right now,” he said. “So we are going to (have to) be really, really great with the basketball.”

All three of the Cardinals’ starting guards—Chris Jones, Terry Rozier and Wayne Blackshear—average at least two steals per game.

Louisville’s rotation has a combination of experienced upperclassmen, heralded freshmen and size.

Blackshear and junior forward Montrezl Harrell, an All-American candidate, were two of Louisville coach Rick Pitino’s first options off the bench two seasons ago when the Cardinals won the national championship.

Crean said on Monday that Harrell exemplifies Louisville’s identity as a team—relentless on both ends of the court.

“He can run the floor,” Crean said. “He can score at the rim and he can shoot the ball. He causes tremendous problems because of his length, but their entire team does the same thing.”

Pitino assembled one of the best recruiting classes in the country this year after signing four ESPN 100 players. Five of Louisville’s freshmen are at least 6-foot-7 and the Cardinals have enough height and depth in their frontcourt that their size could pose problems for Indiana.

Crean said that Pitino’s current squad has to be one of the biggest he’s ever had.

Harrell, 6-foot-8, and 6-foot-10 center Chinanu Onuaku start for Louisville with 6-foot-10 Mangok Mathiang, 7-footer Anas Mahmoud, 6-foot-9 Jaylen Johnson and 7-footer Matz Stotzman coming off the bench.

“This is a really big, athletic, mobile team that can rebound well,” Crean said. “It will be hard to get in that lane and score against them. Our jumper game better be on. Our screening game better be on and our zone offense better be on.”

Indiana’s backcourt, led by Yogi Ferrell, James Blackmon Jr. and Robert Johnson, has been consistently productive this season, and they’ll have their hands full against Louisville’s ball pressure.

But it’s the performance of the team’s frontcourt, which has struggled winning rebounding battles and keeping opponents out of the paint, that could decide the game. It will be up to forwards Hanner Mosquera-Perea, Troy Williams, Emmitt Holt and Collin Hartman to match up with a nationally ranked Cardinals team that has a clear size advantage down low.

Tuesday night will be unchartered terrain for the Hoosiers.

For the first time this season, Indiana will play a game away from the friendly confines of Assembly Hall and the Hoosiers will enter the game as a clear underdog, a role they haven’t experienced in their previous eight games.

Crean said Indiana made strides of improvement with its pair of wins against Pittsburgh and Savannah State last week, but the Hoosiers still have room to improve.

Indiana will find out how good of a team it is in Madison Square Garden.

“If your team if unselfish on offense, you’re going to be good,” Crean said. “If your team is connected on defense, you have a chance to be really good. But they will get severely tested on Tuesday.”

IU to face Louisville at 9 p.m. on Dec. 9 in Jimmy V Men’s Basketball Classic

The IU men’s basketball team will participate in the 20th annual Jimmy V Classic on Tuesday, December 9 in New York City’s Madison Square Garden. The Hoosiers are part of a four-team field that also includes Louisville, Maryland and Villanova.

IU will face Louisville at 9 p.m. after the conclusion of the Maryland-Villanova matchup, which tips off at 7 p.m. ESPN will provide the coverage for both games.

The Hoosiers have a 10-6 all-time advantage against the Cardinals. The two teams haven’t played since February 2003, when Louisville defeated IU 95-76 at home.

IU won its two previous Jimmy V Classic games, topping North Carolina 82-73 in 1999 and Pittsburgh 64-54 in 2009.

College World Series 2013: Most Dangerous Teams Heading to Omaha

Click here to read this article at BleacherReport.com.

LSU won the College World Series in 2009 and the Tigers have won six titles since 1991.  (Elsa/Getty Images)
LSU won the College World Series in 2009 and the Tigers have won six titles since 1991.
(Elsa/Getty Images)

Five baseball teams punched their tickets to the 2013 College World Series over the weekend after winning two games in the super regional round.

Several familiar faces secured their spots in Omaha, Neb. with wins on Saturday, including LSU (16 appearances) and UCLA (19 appearances).

Sunday was a day for the history books for several college baseball programs that are new to the CWS.

After advancing to the super regional round for the first time in school history, Indiana made the College World Series after defeating the No. 7 national seed Florida State on the road in Tallahassee, Fla.

The Louisville Cardinals defeated the No. 2 national seed Vanderbilt to advance to theCWS for only the second time in school history.

North Carolina State will play in Omaha for the second time ever, with the Wolfpack’s last appearance coming in 1968.

The remaining three super regional victors will be crowned on Monday night with the opening games of the CWS beginning on Saturday.

As the eight-team championship field takes shape, college baseball fans should be aware of LSU, Indiana and North Carolina State–three teams that will be especially dangerous in Omaha.

Only the University of Southern California has won more College World Series titles than LSU’s six championships. The Tigers won their first CWS in 1991 with their most recent coming in 2009. No other school has won more than two during that stretch, which means LSU has built its own modern-day dynasty in college baseball.

On an annual basis, LSU expects to make it to Omaha and the Tigers expect nothing short of a championship once they’re there.

LSU is 17-6 against ranked opponents this season and the Tigers only lost one series all year.

By playing in the SEC, the Tigers have more experience against NCAA tournament teams than most of the other Omaha-bound teams. The SEC led the country with nine teams in the 64-team tournament.

LSU is one of the most dangerous teams in the College World Series because it has a strong pitching staff and defense to go along with its depth in its batting order.

The Tigers’ top three starting pitchers are 27-3 this season, which means that they can have an ace on the mound in each game of a three-game series.

Through 66 games this season, LSU has committed only 51 errors compared to its opponents’ 96. The Tigers field the ball cleanly and limit costly mistakes in the field that can come back to bite them.

On offense, five LSU starters are batting .315 or higher. Eight starters have 30 or more RBI and on average, the Tigers strike out fewer than six times per game, which means they put the ball in play and give themselves more opportunities to score.

LSU’s success in the 2013 MLB Draft sums up why the Tigers are a title contender in Omaha. Nine current LSU players were drafted, five of which were selected in the first 10 rounds.

While the SEC is considered a powerhouse conference in college baseball, the Big Ten’s glory days were in the 1960s. Ohio State was the last Big Ten team to win the College World Series when the Buckeyes won in 1966. The last Big Ten team to advance to Omaha was Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Barry Larkin’s Michigan squad in 1984.

The Indiana Hoosiers are breaking stereotypes this year. IU had an 18-game winning streak this season and is currently undefeated in the NCAA tournament.

The Hoosiers are even more dangerous because they won their season series against Louisville, who they play in the first round in Omaha. Overall, Indiana is 12-4 against teams who made the NCAA tournament.

Collegiate Baseball Newspaper recognized three IU players–sophomore catcher Kyle Schwarber, redshirt sophomore pitcher Aaron Slegers and junior infielder DustinDeMuth–as All-Americans.

The Hoosiers hit for both average and power, which makes them so dangerous. They have a team batting average of .305 and have hit 53 home runs, 18 of which have come off the bat of Schwarber.

IU has a team ERA of 2.67. Opposing batters are hitting only .249 against Indiana with 18 home runs.

In a season of firsts–the first year of Indiana’s multi-million dollar Bart Kaufman Field, the first time hosting a regional as well as the first time to advance to a super regional and the College World Series–the Hoosiers are a threat to win the NCAA title this season.

The North Carolina State Wolfpack is entering the CWS as one of the hottest teams in college baseball. In its last 117 innings, North Carolina State has lost only once when it lost 2-1 to No. 1 North Carolina in 18 innings.

The Wolfpack also rattled off a 15-game win streak in April so when they get on a roll, as they are now, they are hard to beat.

North Carolina State is led by sophomore pitcher Carlos Rodon, who leads the country in strikeouts with 170. Rodon is 9-2 this season and opposing hitters have a .201 batting average against him.

The Wolfpack also has a pair of shutdown closers in its bullpen. Chris Overman and Grant Sasser, who have a 0.34 and 1.10 ERA, respectively, have combined for 14 saves this season.

Trea Turner is a five-tool player for North Carolina State and he is their most productive offensive player. He is hitting .378 this season with seven home runs, 41 RBI, a .460 OBP and 27 stolen bases. Turner is a terror on the base paths, stealing 57 bases in 61 attempts last season, and he has scored a team-high 65 runs this year.

When the eight teams begin College World Series play in Omaha, will the experience of a college baseball juggernaut, such as LSU, North Carolina, South Carolina or Oregon State, prevail? Or, will there be a changing of the guard as one of the new teams to Omaha makes a title run?

Unfortunately, LSU and UCLA are matched up in the first round as well as Indiana and Louisville, which means there will be limited opportunities for a Midwest vs. South/West Coast match up.

Wichita State advanced to the finals in the 1993 College World Series but since then, every team to do so was from a warm weather climate.

The programs with the appropriate weather to play baseball year round and the history of success in Omaha are more likely to be successful, which is why I think either LSU, the winner of North Carolina vs. South Carolina or Oregon State (if the Beavers beat Kansas State) will win the College World Series.

However, Indiana has proven that it is a different breed of a Big Ten team compared to the conference’s reputation over the past forty years, which is why I expect the Hoosiers to be among the final four teams in Omaha.

No. 40 IU women’s tennis wins two matches on road trip to Michigan

The No. 40 Indiana women’s tennis team earned its second and third consecutive Big Ten victories over the weekend during its road trip to the Great Lakes State. The Hoosiers notched their eighth 7-0 victory of the season in East Lansing, Mich. against Michigan State on Saturday and followed it up with a 5-2 win against No. 10 Michigan on Sunday.

“It’s kind of indescribable,” IU Coach Lin Loring said.

IU improved its overall record to 14-5 and the Hoosiers’ 3-2 Big Ten record gives the team sole possession of fifth place in the conference.

The Hoosiers won the doubles point against Michigan State by winning the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles matches. Sophomore Carolyn Chupa and senior Leslie Hureau defeated Marina Bohrer/Catherine Parenteau 8-1 in the No. 1 match. Sophomores Alecia Kauss and Shannon Murdy topped Nicole Herzog/Michaela Silesova 9-8 in the No. 2 position.

IU swept the singles matches and won five of them in straight sets. No. 111 Hureau bested Bohrer 6-3, 7-5 in the No. 1 match. No. 112 Katie Klyczek , a sophomore who won the Big Ten Women’s Tennis Athlete of the Week earlier in March, defeated Parenteau 6-4, 6-1.

“We still had trouble closing out both singles and doubles matches that we were leading,” IU Coach Loring said. “On the positive side, we got to play an outdoor match and we got a win in a match we had to have.”

Loring said that Indiana got lucky that the match against Michigan State was outdoors because the Spartans’ outdoor courts are slower than their indoor courts.

“It couldn’t have worked out better to play Michigan State outdoors,” he said. “Not only because the court speed helped us get ready for Michigan but we also got in an outdoor match and at this time of the year, you’re never sure if you’re going to get in an outdoor match.”

Katie Klyczek said that it was challenging at first going from inside to outside. She said that it gave the team a good outdoor practice and that it may have helped an IU team that plays better outdoors.

After Indiana’s match at Michigan State, the Hoosiers traveled to Ann Arbor, Mich. for Sunday’s dual match against the No. 10 Michigan Wolverines.

The Wolverines had won eight consecutive matches entering Sunday, including victories against No. 14 Texas, No. 2 Duke, No. 16 Notre Dame, and No. 17 Purdue.

IU ended Michigan’s win streak by winning the doubles point and four of the six singles matches.

“I’m really proud of the way we competed,” IU Coach Loring said. “We just kept running down balls and making them hit one more. We haven’t had two top wins in the same year in quite some time.”

Michigan’s No. 2 doubles tandem of Emina Bektas/Brooke Bolender defeated Hureau/Chupa 8-1 in the No. 1 match. However, Indiana fought back to win the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles matches to earn the doubles point. Garre/Klyczek topped Mimi Nguyen/Kristen Dodge 8-2 in the No. 3 spot and Kauss/Murdy gave IU a 1-0 lead when they bested No. 49 Ronit Yurovsky/Sarah Lee 8-4 in the No. 2 match.

The Wolverines tied the match when No. 20 Bektas defeated No. 111 Hureau 6-1, 6-4 and then took a 2-1 when Amy Zhu bested senior Jithmie Jayawickrema 6-3, 6-2.

IU finished the match strong by winning the final four singles matches, which included three victories in three sets and two defeats of ranked opponents. In the No. 2 match, No. 112 Klyczek bested No. 39 Yurovsky 6-4, 1-6, 7-5. Chupa topped No. 76 Lee 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (4) in the No. 3 spot.

“It’s pretty exciting, especially after all of our 4-3 losses, to finally win and see all of our hard work pay off,” Klyczek said.

“What makes it more remarkable is that neither one was at home,” IU Coach Loring said. “When we are firing on all cylinders we tough to beat.”

Loring said that tiebreakers finally went Indiana’s way and that the match against Michigan could not have been closer. He said that everyone will now know that IU’s win over No. 2 Duke was not a fluke after the Hoosiers defeated another top 10 opponent.

“We just kept our confidence and believed in ourselves and fought as hard as we could and good things happened,” Klyczek said. “It definitely helped with our confidence and made us realize that we really can do it once we work hard.”

Indiana will play on the road again next weekend when the team travels to face No. 69 Iowa and No. 12 Nebraska.

Click here to read this article on the Indiana Daily Student’s “Hoosier Hype” sports blog.

Bracketology Report: Cincinnati Bearcats

Cincinnati Bearcats—(19-7, 7-6)—10th in the Big East

Strength of schedule: 31

RPI: 42

BPI: 21

Good wins:

  • 77-66 vs. Oregon
  • 70-61 @ Pittsburgh
  • 71-69 OT vs. Marquette

Bad losses:

  • 54-50 @ Providence

Remaining schedule:

  • 2/21 @ Connecticut
  • 2/24 @ No. 24 Notre Dame
  • 3/2 vs. Connecticut
  • 3/4 @ Louisville
  • 3/9 vs. South Florida

Even though Cincinnati has six conference losses and sits towards the bottom of the Big East standings, the Bearcats have been competitive in every game they’ve played in this season. Four of their losses have come against ranked opponents and another was against an unranked New Mexico squad that is now No. 16. UC has lost two games by one point, in addition to three other losses by six points or fewer. The Bearcats have proven that they’re a tough out but they lack quality conference wins, which are readily available in a conference with six ranked teams.

Cincinnati has held its opponents below 70 points on 23 occasions this season. However, the Bearcats’ offense leaves them susceptible to close losses in low-scoring games. Junior guard Sean Kilpatrick leads the team with his 18 points per game average on 41.6% shooting. Senior guards Cashmere Wright and JaQuon Parker are the only other Bearcats to average in double figures in scoring. UC’s offense is too guard heavy and Cincinnati is lacking an inside scoring presence that the team had last season with center Yancy Gates.

Cincinnati junior guard Sean Kilpatrick leads the team with an 18 points per game scoring average. (Image courtesy of bleacherreport.com)
Cincinnati junior guard Sean Kilpatrick leads the team with an 18 points per game scoring average. (Image courtesy of bleacherreport.com)

Cincinnati’s résumé is certainly tournament worthy but the Bearcats still have lots of room for improvement. At this point, UC is on pace for a seven, eight or nine seed. With four games remaining against Louisville, Notre Dame and Connecticut, who are fourth, fifth, and sixth in the Big East, respectively, the Bearcats could move up to a No. 4 or No. 5 seed if they run the table. A strong showing in the Big East Tournament would allow Cincinnati to be in the discussion as a No. 5 or No. 6 seed.

Prediction: Cincinnati will lose at Connecticut and Notre Dame, then end its three-game losing streak with a home victory over UConn. The Bearcats will lose on the road to Louisville and end the regular season with a win over South Florida to finish the season 21-10 (9-9). UC will be the No. 10 seed in the Big East Tournament. Cincinnati will win its first game and lose the second. The Bearcats will be a No. 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

College basketball stock report for week 16

After five consecutive weeks of teams moving up to the No. 1 spot one week and then back down the next as if there was a revolving door for the top spot, Indiana has held on to the No. 1 rank for the past three weeks. Miami (FL) has continued its ascent up in the polls from No. 25, No. 14, No. 8, and No. 3 to No. 2 and 23 first place votes behind the Hoosiers.

The Big East leads all conferences with six ranked teams, followed by the Big Ten with five and Big 12 with three.

With three weeks left of regular season conference play, here is my college basketball stock report:

BUY

Michigan State Spartans-(22-4, 11-2)-Ever since losing by five on the road to No. 7 Indiana, the Spartans have rattled off five wins in a row, including a 23-point drubbing of No. 4 Michigan. Michigan State is tied for first in the Big Ten with the opportunity to have sole possession of first place with a game against No. 1 Indiana tonight in East Lansing, Mich.

Adreian Payne and Michigan State are heating up as March approaches. The Spartans are tied with No. 1 Indiana for first place in the Big Ten entering their game on Tuesday.(Image courtesy of buckey extra.dispatch.com)
Adreian Payne and Michigan State are heating up as March approaches. The Spartans are tied with No. 1 Indiana for first place in the Big Ten entering their game on Tuesday.
(Image courtesy of buckey extra.dispatch.com)

Georgetown Hoyas-(19-4, 9-3)-The Hoyas have taken advantage of Syracuse’s three losses in the Orange’s last six games; Georgetown has won seven straight games, including three against ranked Big East opponents, and is in a three-way tie for first place.

Gonzaga Bulldogs-(25-2, 12-0)-Gonzaga has won 16 of its last 17 games and the Bulldogs’ only loss in the new year was a one-point defeat at the hands of Roosevelt Jones and the Butler Bulldogs on the road. Gonzaga played and defeated the four teams remaining on its schedule by an average of nearly 13 points this season. It would be no surprise if the Bulldogs do not lose until the NCAA Tournament.

SELL

Butler Bulldogs-(21-5, 8-3)-Butler has proven that its best is very good after the Bulldogs defeated No. 1 Indiana in December. However, Butler has lost three of its past eight games. Even though the Bulldogs play in an improved A-10, they have gradually fallen from their top 10 ranking.

Michigan Wolverines-(22-4, 9-4)-There is no doubt that the Wolverines have a roster that has the ability to play in Atlanta for the Final Four but Michigan has slipped up several times lately. The Wolverines lost three of their past five games. All four of Michigan’s losses this season have come on the road and the No. 7 team in the country will have to be able to play away from Ann Arbor, Mich. in order to go deep in the tournament.

Cincinnati Bearcats-(19-7, 7-6)-Cincinnati has been ranked for most of the season but fell out of the top 25 this week after losing three of their past four games and four of seven. All of the Bearcats’ losses have been by ten points or fewer, with four of them being by less than five points, UC has struggled to emerge as one of the best teams in the Big East. Cincinnati is tied for ninth in the conference with games against Connecticut, Notre Dame and Louisville remaining on its schedule. The Bearcats were projected to be a No. 3 seed in ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi’s projected NCAA Tournament but they are falling quickly.

HOLD

Notre Dame Fighting Irish-(21-6, 9-5)-In the past two weeks, Notre Dame defeated No. 11 Louisville in five overtimes and No. 20 Pittsburgh on the road. However, the Fighting Irish also lost to No. 9 Syracuse by 16 and unranked Providence by 17. Notre Dame has a lot of potential but the team has been too inconsistent.

Marquette Golden Eagles-(18-6, 9-3)-With the exception of a loss at Green Bay in December, Marquette does not have any horrible losses this season. The Golden Eagles were routed by Florida and Louisville, two teams that have been at the top of the polls for most of the season, but they have faired well in their conference schedule. Marquette hasn’t proven that it’s a great team but has exceeded expectations in one of college basketball’s toughest conferences. With four road games and two matchups against ranked opponents remaining on their schedule, the Golden Eagles have a challenging home stretch before the Big East Tournament.

By the numbers: No. 25 Notre Dame’s upset of No. 11 Louisville

ESPN college basketball writer and potential psychic Eamonn Brennan tweeted the following at 5:36 p.m.:

In the early hours of Sunday morning, his pre-game prediction turned out to be nearly correct except he underestimated the matchup by one overtime. No. 25 Notre Dame defeated No. 11 Louisville 104-101 at the Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center in South Bend, Ind. For those who missed out on the longest regular season game in the history of Big East men’s basketball, here is the breakdown of the game by the numbers:

No. 11 Louisville and No. 25 Notre Dame's 5OT thriller was the longest regular season game in Big East history. (Image courtesy of http://www.uhnd.com/articles/basketball/notre-dame-wins-5-ot-thriller-12945/)
No. 11 Louisville and No. 25 Notre Dame’s 5OT thriller was the longest regular season game in Big East history. (Image courtesy of http://www.uhnd.com/articles/basketball/notre-dame-wins-5-ot-thriller-12945/)

5 overtimes is how long it took for Notre Dame to beat Louisville.

26 lead changes and 16 ties occurred over the course of the game.

5 of  the last 6 matchups between the two schools have gone to overtime and they have played a total of 11 overtime periods during that span.

8 players fouled out. Gorgui Dieng, Peyton Siva, Luke Hancock and Kevin Ware for Louisville. Jack Cooley, Tom Knight, Jerian Grant and Zach Auguste for Notre Dame.

66 fouls were called in the game.

39 minutes and 16 seconds it took Notre Dame to score 48 points.

44 seconds it took Notre Dame guard Jerian Grant to score 12 points (three three-pointers and one three-point play) to tie the game at 60 at the end of regulation.

17 points and 6 rebounds for Notre Dame center Garrick Sherman, who did not enter the game until the first overtime period.

Sherman did not play in 4 of Notre Dame’s previous 6 games.

4 times in which Louisville guard Russ Smith took the Cardinals’ final shot in an overtime period and missed.

ESPN college basketball writer Myron Medcalf credits Notre Dame in 5OT victory over Louisville

Last week I discovered how much fun ESPN’s live chats are because they allow fans to converse directly with the personalities that they follow on a daily basis. With the ridiculous number of upsets and exciting conference matchups, much of my attention is devoted to following college basketball. This afternoon, ESPN college basketball writer Myron Medcalf held a live chat on ESPN.com. I asked him about the five overtime thriller between No. 11 Louisville and Notre Dame on Saturday night that extended into Sunday morning.

Louisville junior guard Russ Smith is the Cardinals’ leading scorer at 18.3 points per game and Rick Pitino’s squad would not be national title contenders without him. Against the Fighting Irish, Smith scored 21 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out three assists. However, he was just 4-19 from the field in addition to missing game-winning or game-tying shots at the end of the first, second, fourth and fifth overtime periods. I asked Myron Medcalf how much blame Russ Smith deserves for the loss.

Myron Medcalf live chat UL v. ND

 

To read the full live chat, click here.

Making cases for Kansas, Michigan and Florida to be ranked No. 1

Last week was a bloodbath for the AP Top 25. No. 1 Duke lost at Miami (FL) by 27. Louisville lost three consecutive games in the Big East to No. 6 Syracuse, Villanova and Georgetown. Minnesota lost four straight games in the Big Ten. With all of the losses by ranked teams, the No. 1 position is up for grabs and three teams have cases to claim the top spot in this week’s updated polls.

Kansas’ case to be ranked No. 1

The Kansas Jayhawks have won 33 straight games at Allen Fieldhouse and are one of the hottest teams in college basketball. (Image courtesy of http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1501647-kansas-basketball-jayhawks-lack-of-offense-isnt-a-big-concern)
The Kansas Jayhawks have won 33 straight games at Allen Fieldhouse and are one of the hottest teams in college basketball. (Image courtesy of http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1501647-kansas-basketball-jayhawks-lack-of-offense-isnt-a-big-concern)

The Jayhawks are 18-1 and their only loss was by three points to then-No. 21 Michigan State in the second game of the season. Since its only blemish on its 18-1 record, Kansas beat No. 7 Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio and topped No. 11 Kansas State on the road. Bill Self’s squad is off to a 6-0 start in the Big 12 and the team has won 33 consecutive games at Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas is nearly unbeatable at home and its two victories against ranked opponents were on the road, which proves that the Jayhawks can win anywhere they play. They also beat Ohio State, who gave Michigan its only loss of the season, by eight points.

Michigan’s case to be ranked No. 1

Similarly to Kansas, Michigan only has one loss this season and it was also by three points when the Ohio State Buckeyes defeated the Wolverines on Jan. 13. Michigan has two wins against ranked opponents. The Wolverines defeated then-No. 18 North Carolina State at home and then-No. 9 Minnesota on the road. The co-leaders of the Big Ten are 19-1 (6-1) and have 15 double-digit wins this season. Michigan’s resume also includes wins over Pittsburgh, Kansas State and Illinois, who are all teams that have been ranked at some point during the season but weren’t when they lost to the Wolverines.

Florida’s case to be ranked No. 1

The Florida Gators are 16-2 (6-0) and tied with Ole Miss for the SEC lead. Their only two losses are a 65-64 loss at Arizona, a competitive game in which Wildcats guard Mark Lyons hit the game-winning jumper with seven seconds left, and a six-point loss to Kansas State. The Gators have rattled off eight straight wins and have dominated their SEC opponents in conference play. The most points that Florida has allowed in an SEC game is 52 and four of the Gators’ opponents have scored in the forties. Florida’s average margin of victory in conference play is over 26 points and earlier this month they defeated then-No. 17 Missouri 83-52. Granted, the SEC lacks proven teams and depth outside of Florida, Ole Miss and Missouri but the Gators are the team to beat down South.

Kansas has the strongest case because they beat the Ohio State Buckeyes, who later handed Michigan its only loss, on the road by eight. Of the three teams, Florida’s case is the weakest because the Gators have two losses and play in arguably the weakest of the power 6 conferences.