Friday, March 13, 2009

Preview Louisville #02

The Wildcats, having survived a quarter-final thriller Thursday, now face the Cardinals of the University of Louisville in the 7pm semi-final game of the Big East Tournament. Villanova, seeded #4, earned the right to play Friday night by virtue of their 76-75 win over a James-less Marquette squad in the 2pm Thursday quarter-final game. The Cardinals earned the #1 seed by racking up a 16-2 record during the Big East regular season. They then eliminated the Providence Friars (from more than the Big East Tournament...) with a 73-55 thrashing in front of 19,000+ fans at Madison Square Garden.

Previous Meetings...
The Wildcats and Cardinals played a nearly dead even game, won (by a point) by Louisville when the 'Cats left the ball (literally...) on the rim as the clock expired. The game, played back on January 10 at the Wachovia (sorry, I can't remember who swallowed Wachovia last fall...) Center, was the 2nd Big East game for Louisville, but it launched them onto a "perfect" January. They went 8-0 through the month, not losing until they met Connecticut on February 2. After that loss, the Cardinals would lose only one more time, a good old fashioned road beat down at the hands of the Irish.

Pomeroy, Pythagoras...
The log5 probabilities show Villanova has a 37.7% chance of taking this game. The teams will probably play for about 71 possessions, 4-5 above the D1 average, about the pace of their last game. Looking at offensive/defensive efficiencies, My calculations suggest the Wildcats will lose this one by a 3 point margin. Louisville has athletic wings (Williams and Clark), and though they tend to run at about the D1 pace, they can keep up if need be (West Virginia).

What Others Say
Looking around for more previews? Try...
Grab a comfy chair and dig into Publisher's preview & background over at Villanova Viewpoint.
David over at Villanovan Sports Blog provides a recap of each team's season since they met in January.
Over at the New Big East Report the NBE Blogger posted a quick preview complete with generalizations about each squad and links to ticket sites in case you are motivated to get in for the game tonight.

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