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NABC Classic Preview

Does anyone know what the hell NABC stands for? We assumed the BC stood for "Basketball Classic," but "Basketball Classic Classic" wouldn't make senese. Whatever, it should be the BMCJ for "Billy Minardi Classic Jr."

These are three games that the Cardinals should, and must win. A loss to any of these teams at home would be twice the blow the Dayton loss was.

After playing just four games in three weeks, tonight's game against Ohio starts a 22 day stretch in which Louisville will play 10 games.You know it's Christmas time when the Classics begin. Feel the magic.

Lineup:

12/8: Louisville vs. Ohio (7 p.m.)
12/8: Bellarmine vs. St. Joseph's (9:30 p.m.)
12/9: Ohio vs. Bellarmind (4:30 p.m.)
12/9: St. Joseph's vs. Louisville (7 p.m.)
12/10: St. Joseph's vs. Ohio (2:30 p.m.)
12/10: Louisville vs. Bellarmine (6 p.m.)

OHIO (4-1)

The Bobcats, coming off a 77-72 victory at St. Bonaventure, are led by Cincinnati transfer Bubba Walther who is averaging 17 ppg. and shooting just under 44% from beyond the arc. Ohio has four other players who average in double figures, including big man Leon Williams who also pulls down 8.4 rebounds a game.

On the glass is where OU is winning games, outrebounding their opponents by just over nine a a game. Pitino likens Ohio's style of play to that of Dayton, but their average of 92 points per game would suggest otherswise. This team is largely a mystery to the outside observer, but losing to Samford by 14 suggests that this is most definitely a game that Louisville should win relatively easily.

Scoring Average ...92.0
Points Allowed ... 77.2
Scoring Margin ...+14.8
FG Percentage .....533
Opp. FG Percentage .440
3-Pt. Percentage ...398
FT Percentage ......700
Rebound Margin .....+9.3
Turnover Margin ....-0.5

St. Joseph's (4-2)

Phil Martelli's gang is a bit down this year, suffering uncharacteristic early losses to Penn State (65-61) and Drexel (72-56). The Hawks do, however, still own the top defense in the Atlantic 10, limiting the opponents to 58.2 points per game.

Ahmad Nevins (13. 7 ppg), and sharp-shooter Rob Ferguson (11-17 from three) lead the way for SJU which averages just 53 points per contest.

Bellarmine (3-2)

The Division II Knights were hoping to maybe steal a game against one of three Division I opponents, but that task was made much more difficult when Senior Brandon Clifford (17 pts./10 reb.) was ruled ineligible for this weekend's play while his eligibility is being investigated. In their two games without Clifford, Bellarmine has lost to SIU-Edwardsville (54-44), and defeated #20 Quincy (81-67).

The ties between Louisville and Bellarmine basketball go beyond BU Head Coach Scotty Davenport, as Knight point guard Marcus Flynn (9.8 ppg.) is the younger brother of former Cardinal flopping great BJ Flynn.  

Predictions:

12/8: Louisville 83, Ohio 69
12/8: St. Joseph's 74, Bellarmine 56
12/9: Ohio 84, Bellarmine 64
12/9: Louisville 72, St. Joseph's 66
12/10: St. Joseph's 64, Ohio 62
12/10: Louisville 78, Bellarmine 63

Peace, love, Cards.