Men's Basketball Faces Kentucky in NCAA Sweet 16 Matchup
March 28, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
LOUISVILLE BASKETBALL RELEASE
INDIANAPOLIS - The University of Louisville men's basketball program faces Bluegrass State rival Kentucky when it takes the court on Friday at 9:45 p.m. ET for an NCAA Sweet 16 matchup at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
The March 28 game will air on CBS, with Jim Nantz (play-by-play), Greg Anthony (analyst), and Tracy Wolfson (reporter) calling the action. Paul Rogers (play-by-play) and Bob Valvano (analyst) will announce the game on WKRD 790 AM. The contest also is available on SIRIUS channel 93 and XM channel 192.
The programs have played each other 46 times, with five of those coming in the NCAA Tournament. Louisville has won two of the postseason matchups, while the Wildcats' most recent NCAA Tournament victory over the Cardinals came in the NCAA national semifinals in 2012. Louisville's last victory over Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament came in the 1983 Mideast Regional championship in Knoxville, Tenn., in a contest labeled the "Dream Game."
The Cardinals (31-5) reached their 20th NCAA Sweet 16 in program history after posting wins over Manhattan and Saint Louis in the NCAA second and third rounds in Orlando, Fla.
Louisville's 66-51 victory over Saint Louis was fueled by a 21-point performance by Luke Hancock and a double-double Montrezl Harrell, who finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Russ Smith and Chris Jones each chipped in with 11 points. It was the largest margin of defeat Saint Louis experienced this season.
Collectively, the Cardinals outrebounded the Billikens 37-30, forced Saint Louis into 18 turnovers, and held them to just 39.6 percent from the field. Saint Louis' 0-for-15 performance from beyond the arc is the most 3-point attempts without a make in NCAA Tournament history.
Following the two victories, Louisville remains among the nation's best in terms of statistical rankings. The Cardinals are in the top 15 in turnover margin (No. 1, +6.8), scoring margin (No. 1, +20.6), steals per game (No. 2, 10.1), total steals (No. 2, 364), 3-point field goal defense (No. 3, 28.6), scoring offense (No. 12, 81.4), total rebounds (No. 12, 1,367), total assists (No. 13, 557), and scoring defense (No. 14, 60.7).
Kentucky boosted its record to 26-10 and kept its postseason run alive with an impressive 78-76 win over No. 1-seed Wichita State. Both teams shot better than 50 percent from the floor, but Kentucky used its advantage on the glass to win the rebounding battle 32-23 and log 16 second-chance points.
Andrew and Aaron Harrison combined for 39 points on 12-of-22 shooting, and Julius Randle had 13 points and 10 rebounds for his nation-leading 22nd double-double of the year.
Randle is leading the team this season with 15.1 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. James Young and Aaron Harrison are each averaging 14 points, while Willie Cauley-Stein has totaled 106 blocks this year.
Nationally, Kentucky ranks in the top 15 in free throw attempts (No. 1, 1,063), total rebounds (No. 1, 1,471), rebound margin (No. 2, +9.8), free throws made (No. 3, 726), total blocks (No. 5, 222), offensive rebounds per game (No. 6, 14.47), and blocked shots per game (No. 8, 6.2).
The Wildcats, under the direction of fifth-year coach John Calipari, tied Georgia for second in the Southeastern Conference standings with a 12-6 league mark.
GAME FACTS - No. 4-seed Louisville vs. No. 8-seed Kentucky