A couple of faces you might not expect amid the U of L cheering section tonight. Former UK athletic director Larry Ivy and well-known UK equipment manager Bill Keightley are among U of L coach Rick Pitino’s guests in Charlotte Bobcats Arena.
But tipoff is 22 minutes away. Let’s do some last-minute thinking about this game.
The most disingenuous pregame statement made by either coach? That belongs to Bruce Pearl, who said yesterday, “If this becomes a track meet, we’ll lose.”
Tennessee needs this to be a track meet. If this is a controlled half-court affair, U of L wins big.
It’s going to come down to whether or not U of L can make open shots from the perimeter. The Cards are going to get some great looks against Tennessee’s defense.
U of L also needs to look for opportunities on the offensive glass. Pearl’s teams aren’t great rebounding teams, but they often hold their own on the defensive boards because opponents are so fearful of their fast break that they don’t commit large numbers to the offensive glass.
Matchup to watch: Tyler Smith vs. Terrence Williams. The winner might well wind up being the winner of that matchup.
It’s going to be hard to beat the fantastic game going on between Xavier and West Virginia, but this should be a good one.