This game's getting a decent amount of attention.
Eric Crawford - who picked a peculiar time to go on vacation - takes the first crack and focuses on how the Cards, in particular Andre McGee, are trying not to make this game out to be anything more than another Big East clash.
Andre McGee was sitting in front of his locker Saturday night, explaining that tonight's game against Connecticut was just another big game in the Big East Conference grinder, whether the Huskies are ranked No. 1 in the nation or not.
His University of Louisville teammate, Edgar Sosa, just a couple of lockers over, heard McGee and stuck his head into the group of reporters.
"You're saying that having No. 1 in here doesn't charge you up a little?" Sosa piped up, then looked at me. "Let me in here. Let me ask him a few questions."
When McGee was a freshman U of L went 0-7 against ranked teams. As a sophomore, the Cards were 2-5 against ranked opponents. And now that the Cards have won eight of their past nine regular-season games against ranked teams -- and 9 of 11 overall the past two seasons, including four straight this year -- McGee said that the emotion has subsided.
Much of the talk in the Nutmeg State (look it up) is centering around the fact that Connecticut will more than likely be taking the floor inside Freedom Hall tonight as the nation's top-ranked team.
“Louisville is not going to play any harder or less hard, whether we’re No. 1 or anything else,” UConn guard A.J. Price said. “They understand what’s at hand — they are number one in the Big East right now, we’re right on their tail. If they win the game, they get some separation. If we win, we put ourselves in great position coming down the stretch. That’s what it boils down to, not about No. 1 in the polls.”
Louisville doesn’t even believe it’s a motivating factor.“We don’t even mention rankings,” said Louisville assistant coach Steve Masiello, subbing for coach Rick Pitino at a press conference Sunday. “We don’t even talk about them. We just talk about our next opponent — “this is what you need to do, this is what they do. No matter what anyone is ranked, it doesn’t matter because it’s just about taking care of business. That’s what we talk about. We don’t talk about who’s No. 1 or who’s this or who’s that.”
Besides, Louisville has already been there, done that — the Cardinals knocked off then-No. 1 Pittsburgh on Jan. 17. Beating UConn would be significant, but not because the Huskies are No. 1 in the Top 25.
“It wouldn’t really mean that much to us as far as the rankings,” Louisville senior Andre McGee said Sunday. “But it’s just about us being able to get another win in the Big East, which is hard to come by. In this conference, you can’t really get too excited up or down — you can’t get up for UConn and get down against South Florida because you have to play just as hard against South Florida.”
ESPN's "Weekly Watch" thinks the timing couldn't be better for tonight's showdown.
The timing couldn't be more perfect for this matchup. The day after the Super Bowl, college basketball serves up a monster matchup between two Big East title and Final Four contenders. Connecticut at Louisville should be one of the games to remember come March.
Looking for the AP preview saying the same thing as everyone else? BOOM.
And finally, if you're unable to do anything else but scourage for every possible nugget of information pertaining to tonight's game, check out the Connecticut game notes here and the U of L game notes here.