In reviewing of the 2011-2012 Basketball Schedule, I'm trying to pick out the "toughest" 3 game stretch the Cards will face. Here are the top three 3-game sets I believe will be the most challenging for the Cards.
12/28/11 vs. GEORGETOWN
12/31/11 at Kentucky
01/03/12 at St. John’s
01/16/12 at Marquette
01/21/12 at Pittsburgh
01/25/12 vs. VILLANOVA
02/06/12 vs. CONNECTICUT
02/11/12 at West Virginia
02/13/12 vs. SYRACUSE
As mentioned, we start off with a real Big East opponent before the UK game (no offense USF, but you don’t really count). It’s 3 tough games in 6 days, but I like that we get G’town at home. St. John’s is a wild card with all their new players, but I do like that we get them early in the season. If all three were on the road, this would be a much tougher set. It’s also over the holiday break, so school responsibilities aren’t a factor.
Two tough road games followed by a hard nosed opponent at home. Marquette wants revenge from last year’s collapse at the Yum. Pitt is always tough at home (best home record in the Big East over the last several years) and this year will be an exciting game. Hopefully we can beat those bums on their home court. Finally, Nova at home. If we stumbled two games on the road, it’s a short Saturday to Wednesday rest before facing a physical team at home.
In the end, I think the toughest is going to be this last set, even though 2 of the 3 are at home. It’s 3 games in 7 days, 2 Big Mondays on ESPN. All big time games. Throw in the fact that the opening Big Monday with Connecticut only has 1 day of rest thanks to the Rutgers game on Saturday. (At least we aren’t traveling back from NJ.) The sure-fire dog fight at WVU on the Saturday in-between two likely top 10 opponents. This should be as bad as it gets. I’m glad this set is in February. We are pretty solid come February.
What do you all think? What’s the toughest set of 3 games? Outside of a head scratching loss before a tough game, I believe if we lose 2 of 3 at any point in the season, it'll be within these sets. That said, I still believe that Louisville will win 2 of 3 in each of these sets.