March 14, 2013
Cards Open Big East Tourney
Villanova vs. Louisville
Thursday, March 14, 2013
7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden
New York City, New York
Radio: WHAS (840 AM)
Villanova No. 7 seed
|15||Ryan Arcidiacono ||G||6-3||195||Fr.||12.2||2.0|
|32||James Bell||G||6-6 ||225||Jr.||8.8||4.3|
RESERVES: Henry Lowe, G, FR, 5-11; Tony Chennault, G, JR, 6-2; Mislav Brzoja, G, FR, 6-4; Nick McMahon, G, JR, 6-0; Patrick Farrell, F, FR, 6-5; JayVaughn Pinkston, F, SO, 6-6; Achraf Yacoubou, G, SO, 6-4; Maurice Sutton, F/C, SR, 6-11; Dylan Ennis, G, FR, 6-2
HEAD COACH: Head Coach: Jay Wright (Bucknell '83) 256-142 in 12th yr. at VU / 378-227 in 19th yr. overall
University of Louisville No. 2 Seed
|21||Chane Behanan ||F||6-6||250||So.||10.5||7.1|
|2||Russ Smith ||G||6-0||165||Jr.||18.4||3.7|
RESERVES: Montrezl Harrell, F, 6-9, Fr.; Zach Price, C, 6-10, So.; Kevin Ware, G, 6-5, So.; Tim Henderson, G, 6-2, Jr.; Michael Baffour, G, 6-2, Fr.; Stephan Van Treese, C, 6-8, Sr.; Luke Hancock, G, 6-5, Jr.
HEAD COACH: Rick Pitino (Massachusetts '74) 301-111 in 12th season at UofL and 655-239 in 28th season as collegiate coach.
Cards Have Won Last Seven
In winning its last seven games, Louisville has limited its opponents to 36 percent shooting from the field and 54.1 points per game, forced an average of 16.9 turnovers and collected an average of 10.1 steals.
Over the last seven, the Cardinals have shot 74.7 percent from the free throw line and have a +15.4 scoring margin, with three of the seven victories coming on the road.
Individually in that seven-game stretch, Russ Smith is the scoring leader, averaging16.6 points per game, Gorgui Dieng has averaged a double-double (12.7 ppg, 10.4 rpg), and Peyton Siva has averaged 8.7 points and 5.3 assists.
Series vs. Villanova
Louisville and Villanova are tied 9-9 in their series which began in 1950, with the Cardinals winning four of the last seven meetings.
Earlier this season at the Wells Fargo Center in Villanova (1/22/13), Louisville fell 73-64 despite Wayne Blackshear's 17 points and season-best five three-pointers and four steals. Louisville made just 7-of-18 free throws in the second half and a season-low 50 percent for the game. Peyton Siva added 15 points and a career-high 13 assists for the Cards. Ryan Arcidiacono scored 15 points to lead five Wildcats in double figures. Villanova made 13-of-14 free throws in the final two minutes of the game.
The teams have met once previously in the BIG EAST Tournament, with Louisville prevailing 69-55 in the 2009 semifinals as Earl Clark led U of L with 17 points (3/13/09). After Villanova led 34-26 at halftime, the Cardinals started the second half with a 17-2 run to take a 43-36 lead less than five minutes into the half and later had a 10-0 spurt.
UofL shot 51.5 percent in the second half, including burying eight of its 13 three-pointers in the second half. The Cards held Villanova to 28 percent shooting in the second half (7-of-25) and 34.6 percent for the game. Dante Cunningham led Villanova with 14 points and nine rebounds. Louisville went on to win the 2009 championship.
Five meetings between the schools have come at neutral sites in tournament action (KIT, Maui Classic, Great Alaska Shootout, NCAA Tournament, BIG EAST Tournament).
The teams have met once in NCAA Tournament action, with the Cardinals winning 68-64 over the 10th-ranked Wildcats on March 17, 1996 in Milwaukee, Wisc. in the NCAA Midwest Region second round. DeJuan Wheat led U of L with 19 points and three assists in that game as the Cardinals advanced to their 13th NCAA Sweet 16.
U of L Coach Rick Pitino has a 7-9 record against Villanova (2-3 at Providence, 1-0 at Kentucky, 4-6 at
Louisville opened its 1997-98 season with a 76-66 victory over Villanova Coach Jay Wright's Hofstra team in the first round of the Puerto Rico Shootout (12/27/97).
UofL Trio Earns BIG EAST Honors
UofL players Russ Smith, Gorgui Dieng and Peyton Siva have been selected for post-season honors in the BIG EAST Conference in a vote of the league head coaches. Smith and Dieng were first team All BIG EAST selections, while Siva earned third team honors. It was the first time the Cardinals have had three All-BIG EAST selections in one season and the first time two UofL players were named to the first team.
Louisville at MSG
Louisville has an all-time 27-26 record in Madison Square Garden and the Cards have won five straight there, seven of their last eight and 12 of their last 17 games there. UofL won the 1956 NIT Championship in the Garden, the 2009 and 2012 BIG EAST Championships, and the 1971 Holiday Festival. U of L is 10-5 in the Garden for BIG EAST Tournament games, winning nine of its last 11 in the post season event
Cards Lead in BIG EAST Wins
Louisville has the most BIG EAST Conference victories over the last eight years during the regular season, since the 2005-06 season when the Cardinals first joined the BIG EAST. Louisville has a 95-45 BIG EAST record, just ahead of Syracuse and Pittsburgh (both at 92-48) in league victories during the regular season. UofL has won or finished second in the BIG EAST on four occasions, winning the league regular season title in 2009 and 2012.
Peyton Siva moved up to second in career assists at UofL with four at Connecticut (631 total now) and is 82 behind all-time leader LaBradford Smith (1987-91, 713 assists).
Siva is just the fourth player in Uof L history with 500 career assists and became just the second with 600 when he handed out six against St. John's.
Siva's 211 assists in 2011-12 were the second most ever in a UofL single season and his 182 this year already rank fifth.
With two steals against Seton Hall, Siva moved up to third in career steals (226 now). He is just four short of the career record of 230 by Darrell Griffith. Siva passed 1,100 career points against Cincinnati 1,121 now, No. 48 at UofL).
Russ Smith has 164 steals for his career, 18 short of breaking into the career top 10 at Louisville. His 87 steals last season set a new UofL record and his 64 this year are four short of the single-season top 10. Smith's 17 points at DePaul made him the 65th career 1,000 point scorer at UofL (1,143 now, No. 60 at UofL).
Gorgui Dieng passed 700 career rebounds with 14 at Syracuse. He needs 24 points for 800 in his career.
Chane Behanan needs nine points for 700 in his career. He grabbed his 500th career rebound with nine at DePaul.
Over the past nine years (since 2005), Louisville has a collective 44-18 record during the month of March. UofL coach Rick Pitino has a 112-40 collegiate record in the month of March (.737), including a 55-25 mark at Louisville. UofL has a 13-5 record in regular season games in March over the last nine years (since 2005).
Add in another closing month of February and the Cardinals are 63-20 in those two closing months in the last nine years during the regular season (.759). UofL has a 36-9 record (.800) during the month of February over the last six years, dating back to the 2007-08 season (6-1 this season, 5-2 each of the last two years).
Pitino in New York
When the Cardinals play in the BIG EAST Championship in New York this week, U of L Coach Rick Pitino will be returning to familiar surroundings.
Born in Manhattan just a few blocks from Madison Square Garden, Pitino played four varsity seasons at St. Dominic High School in Oyster Bay, N.Y., averaging 28 points and 10 assists as a senior.
After his first head coaching job at Boston University, Pitino served as an assistant coach for the New York Knicks for two seasons (1983-85).
After two seasons as head coach at Providence, Pitino returned to the Knicks as their head coach for two seasons (1987-89) before leaving to become head coach at Kentucky.
In his initial year at New York in 1987-88, the Knicks improved by 14 victories and made the NBA Playoffs for the first time in four seasons. The Knicks won 52 games in 1988-89 and swept the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
Pitino took two of his Kentucky teams to the Garden, twice playing in the ECAC Holiday Festival (1992, 1995). His 1995-96 Kentucky team won the NCAA Championship in the New York area, beating Syracuse 76-67 in the title game in East Rutherford, N.J. (4/1/96).
Cardinals Hail from New York Area
A pair of Louisville players have ties to the NewYork area in Russ Smith (Brooklyn, N.Y., Archbishop Malloy HS/South Kent School) and Kevin Ware (Bronx, N.Y.).
U of L trainer Fred Hina was the head trainer for the New York Mets for seven years prior to joining the Cardinal staff in 2001.
New York natives have been major contributors to Cardinal Basketball in past years. Rodney and Scooter McCray, from Mt. Vernon, N.Y., helped the Cardinals reach three NCAA Final Fours during their years at Louisville (1978-83). Rodney is one of just five Cardinals to reach both 1,000 points and rebounds (1,247 pts., 1,029 reb.).
26-5 Start For Cards
Louisville's 26-5 record marks the third time the Cardinals have won at least 26 of their first 31 games under UofL Coach Rick Pitino, with the best start in the 2004-05 season when Uof L started 27-4. Three of Pitino's four previous UofL teams that also started with at least a 24-7 record reached the Elite Eight and one was a Final Four team. The Cardinals were 22-9 through 31 games last season and reached the Final Four. This season, UofL began 5-0 for the third consecutive year, the first time it has had three straight 5-0 starts since the 1949-52 seasons when the Cardinals won their first five in each of those years. UofL won its first 11 games last season and its initial eight games in 2010-11.
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