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(4) Louisville vs. (5) New Mexico Preview
Posted By Yannis Koutroupis On March 16, 2012 @ 3:28 am In All,NCAA | No Comments
(4) Louisville Cardinals
A lot of people considered the Davidson Wildcats capable of upsetting the Cardinals and they certainly played like it, but in the end the Cardinals survived 69-62. Their youthful interior duo of Chane Behanan and Gorgui Dieng looked mature beyond their years, combining to scored 23 points and haul in 18 rebounds. Peyton Siva continued his strong play from the Big East tournament with 17 points and six assists. Defensively, the Cardinals were impressive. They held the Wildcats to 35 percent shooting from the field and 21 percent from deep. De’Mon Brooks, who was the Wildcats’ leading scorer during the regular season with 16 a night, was a complete nonfactor. He only scored five points as he dealt with foul trouble the entire game. Siva playing well has become a necessity for the Cardinals. When he’s on, they can compete with the best. They’ll need another big game from him, as well as Dieng and Behanan, who will have their hands full against Drew Gordon.
(5) New Mexico Lobos
The Long Beach State 49ers posed a very stiff challenge for the Lobos and they responded, defeating them 75-68 in one of the best games of the day. As expected, Drew Gordon put up a double-double of 18 points and 13 rebounds for the Lobos. Kendall Williams was the key, though. He did a great job defensively against Casper Ware, forcing him to take 19 shots to get his 17 points. Meanwhile, he scored 16 himself and continuously made big shots late in the ballgame to keep his team on top. His job won’t be getting any easier as he’ll be matched up against the surging Peyton Siva of Louisville next. Siva has taken over a leadership role in recent weeks. Making him work for every bucket like Ware had to is important for the Lobos. The Lobos will also have to make sure to take quality shots and try to get to the free throw line at least 20 times again.
HOOPSWORLD’s pick: New Mexico. After giving the Lobos too little credit prior to the start of the tournament, we’re going to put our faith in them and pick them to get into the Sweet 16. Gordon should dominate inside, while Williams’ defense against Siva will be the true difference maker.
Who do you think is going win? Chime in by leaving a comment below!
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