LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (26-8, 14-4) vs. TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS (31-4, 14-2)
Time: (Approximately) 9:57 p.m.
Site: Charlotte Bobcats Arena: Charlotte, N.C.
Favorite: Louisville by 3
All-Time Series: Louisville leads 11-7
Last Meeting: Louisville won 85-62 on 1/22/05
Probable Tennessee Starting Lineup
G J.P. Prince.......8.3 ppg
G JaJuan Smith........14.5 ppg
G Chris Lofton........15.5 ppg
F Wayne Chism.........9.9 ppg
F Tyler Smith........13.7 ppg
--Tennessee is making its fifth appearance in the Sweet 16 and its second in as many years. The Vols are 0-4 all-time in regional semifinal games.
--Rick Pitino owns a 33-11 record in the NCAA Tournament, ranking him 11th all-time in winning percentage. Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl is 23-12 all-time in the tournament, including 5-2 with the Volunteers.
--Rick Pitino is 7-0 all-time in Sweet 16 games.
--Louisville has won four straight games over Tennessee.
--Louisville has an 8-3 record all-time as a three seed. The Cards advanced to the Final Four as a three in 1982.
--Tennessee is undefeated in games in which it has forced more than 15 turnovers, and winless in games in which it has failed to force at least 13.
--Rick Pitino is 18-3 all-time against Tennessee.
--"Sometimes it doesn't show, because I think all coaches -- you watch so much film, are up so late and get so little sleep that you are beat -- but inside we are really excited. The first two rounds you can't have as much fun. ... But this is the Sweet 16. You are traveling there and playing all good teams." --Rick Pitino
--"When we played (Louisville) my freshman year, it meant a lot for trying to get back at them for not recruiting me so hard. But it's all over now; it's four years later and we're trying to go to the Elite Eight." --Chris Lofton
--"It was precautionary to ice (my ankle) and take care of it. It was no big deal." --Chris Lofton
--"I'm just enjoying that I'm playing and my year wasn't cut short like a lot of people thought it was going to be. I'm just taking full advantage of my last NCAA tournament and loving it. Obviously, I want to keep winning, but I'm just really enjoying the moment right now and the last few weeks with these teammates. We've been through a lot together." --David Padgett
--"There is new technology, you can drive some cars without a key, but he's (Padgett) the key to everything on our team. I knew it wasn't going to work." --Terrence Williams
--"He (Padgett) is sort of the glue out there to a lot of what they do offensively, and then he gives them a great physical presence. Wayne Chism is very underrated, and he could outplay Padgett. He needs to outplay Padgett for us to have a chance to win." --Bruce Pearl
--"Even though I'm from a small town, I'm not going to let someone come in and bogart me. Coach told us they are tough, but they got to show the toughness on the court. I want to see it. I'm ready to play hard." --Wayne Chism
--"I'll be able to handle the pressure fine. I'd rather be pressed than to have to deal with a half-court defense, because against the press, I can see over the defenders to make the long passes. I have the whole court to work with and some of the best shooters in the country on my side." --J.P Prince
--"I don't think we've played our best game yet. And I can tell you looking at Washington State and North Carolina and Louisville, for this Tennessee team to advance, we're going to have to." --Bruce Pearl
--"We won the SEC this year with good point guard play. We did not have great point guard play. I didn't think good point guard play was going to get us to win a national championship or help us advance so I made the adjustment to put my best players on the floor." --Bruce Pearl
--"Coach (Pearl) said Louisville wins every game by out-toughing their opponents. But in New York, where I'm from, they feed on the weak. I've seen (intimidation) every day of my life." --Brian Williams
CC Prediction: Louisville 76, Tennessee 72
If can't see either team holding a double-digit lead for much longer than a couple of possessions. What it boils down to for me is that I like our coach and our players at the end of a tight game more than their coach and their players.
The last ten minutes of this one will not be as fun as the first two.