Arizona vs. Louisville: Steve Rivera’s breakdown of the game • Wildcat notes • Players to watch
The key will be UA’s Nic Wise and how he handles the pressure of Louisville’s press. He’ll have help from Kyle Fogg, but Wise will be the player who guides the Cats’ tempo. It won’t be easy. He’ll be going against big guard Jerry Smith and Andre McGee, a good shooter. Watch for foul trouble.
Two players UA might not have the answer for are Terrence Williams and Earl Clark. Both can shoot 3-pointers, but Williams is more accurate. Arizona’s Chase Budinger will be asked to keep up with the pressure. He hasn’t seen this type of pace all season. It will be too much. Another key is Louisville’s Samardo Samuels, the team’s big man, but Jordan Hill should have an advantage over him.
This isn’t even close. Besides their press, the Cardinals allow 31 percent from the 3-point arc and 39 percent from the floor. If Louisville extends its perimeter defense far out, it could be even more trouble for UA.
If Louisville gets an early lead and holds a comfortable edge over UA at halftime, it’s over. The Cardinals are 25-0 when holding a halftime lead. If Arizona keeps it close, the Cats could have a chance because Louisville is shooting only 50 percent from the free-throw line in the NCAA Tournament. In the end, the Cats’ lack of depth should hurt them against the Cardinals.
Prediction: Louisville by 11
UA BASKETBALL NOTES
Key to game may come with 8 minutes left
Pay extra attention when there are about eight minutes left in the game.
That is when Louisville’s pressure defense starts taking its toll, said Cardinals guard Edgar Sosa.
“That’s when you can see the other teams’ point guards don’t want to break the press any more. They don’t want the ball and they’re telling someone else to bring it up,” said Sosa a 6-foot-1 guard.
“Once they do that, we know we have the game because we got the ball out of the main ball-handlers’ hands.”
Cardinals forward has memory lapse
Louisville junior forward Earl Clark was asked how much he watched Arizona during the regular season. He turned to a teammate and asked: “What conference do they play in?”
“I don’t think the Pac-10 is on TV too much,” Clark added. “I didn’t get to see a lot. I saw a couple of games. I like their style of play.”
A teammate, helping out a video crew, put a microphone in front of Clark and asked what he thought of the state of Arizona.
“I don’t think I have ever been there,” he said.
He was then reminded that the Cardinals played in Glendale in December, losing to Minnesota 70-64 in University of Phoenix Stadium.
“Oh, yeah,” Clark said. “We lost, that’s why I don’t remember.”
No. 12 Arizona (20-13) vs. No. 1 Louisville (30-5)
When: 4:07 p.m. Friday
Where: Indianapolis TV: CBS
Radio: 1290-AM, 107.5 FM
How teams match up
72.5 Points per game 74.1
47.7 Field goal % 45.5
68.2 Points allowed per game 61.7
43.3 Foes’ field goal % 39.4
Record of Louisville coach Rick Pitino in the Sweet 16, with every game decided by at least 10 points.
Fan impressed by Hill’s character
Re: UA made mountain out of Hill
• This is a great story. I have followed UA basketball for many years and Jordan has become one of my favorites. He will be a great player for many years to come. Many forget to comment that he is a gentleman on the court, a true fundamental player of the game. I was fortunate to play golf with him in a charity event and was even more impressed by his character. CHAZDDS
• Jordan Hill should teach Alex Jacobson a few moves before he leaves to the NBA. MXWILDCAT
• Jordan has made a lot of progress – from having smaller players take the ball away from him near the basket while rebounding to being a monster with the ball. He can make a million by going to the NBA, but if he stayed around for another year, he could easily double his starting salary through his continued improvement becoming possibly the No. 1 pick of the 2010 draft. BOBW31
• Through all the turmoil, you never heard Jordan complain. I love this kid and his game. He should leave and get paid. He deserves it. 4274