As much fun as it is to talk about teenage boys and fax machines, there is real sport going on tonight: Louisville travels to the RAC to take on a talented but inconsistent Rutgers team coming off 4 straight losses. None of those were bad losses: 3 points at Notre Dame, 12 points at home to St. John's, 8 points at UConn and 6 points at Cincinnati. They actually led by 10 at Cinci before going cold and seeing Sean Kilpatrick get hot.
Rutgers is led by Eli Carter, who put up 24 on us last year in what was a closer game than the final score indicated. While the final scores have been pro-Louisville, Rutgers always seems to give us somewhat of a game: they beat us in our first season in the Big East, but we have won 6 straight against them.
Cinci's defensive pressure and intensity caused them a lot of problems and turnovers, so if we can bring that, and not get fouls called on us, we should be able to continue that pressure.
I'll be looking for Chane to have a bounce back game - he torched them for 11-12 shooting and 23 points last season, and since the UConn game (his best overall of the season except for maybe Kentucky) he has been inconsistent at best, and has been really bad at finishing at the rim. With the outstanding play of Montrezl Harrell off the bench, Chane is legitimately at risk of losing playing time as we get our March rotation set.
No secret how we win this game: shoot decent, turn Rutgers over, hope they don't get crazy hot from 3. It's too soon to start the Survive and Advance mentality, but a loss tonight would be really damaging for our seeding and momentum.
I'm done predicting games because there's really no point - if we show up, we should win. Let's hope we show up.