Friday, March 27, 2009

Louisville vs. Arizona Sweet 16 Preview

Why Arizona Can Win: Their big three. As we have been saying with Pitt, when you are building a team, what you want is a point guard, a wing scorer, and a dominant big man. Arizona has all three is Nic Wise, Jordan Hill, and Chase Budinger. Budinger and Hill may very well end up in the lottery three months from now (and Wise has a shot at getting drafted somewhere down the road), which clearly means that the Wildcats have talent. As we have mentioned a number of times, talent - specifically NBA caliber talent - is the biggest factor when it comes to winning at this level. Arizona has two, maybe three, NBA talents on their roster.

Why Louisville Can Win: Depth. Arizona's big three all log between 36 and 38 minutes per game. Granted, with TV timeouts, the minutes that they play do get broken up, that is still a lot of court time over the course of a season. On the other hand, Louisville goes 10 deep and runs a system designed solely around wearing out their opponents. Yes, Jordan Hill is going to be the best big man on the floor. But when he plays 40 minutes and Samardo Samuels and Terrence Jennings split that time, who is going to be fresher and more willing and able to bang bodies down the stretch?

Key To The Game: This is pretty obvious - can Arizona handle Louisville's pressure and who will then control the pace of this game. Arizona cannot turn the ball over against the Cardinals (a la Siena, who had just nine and nearly knocked off the Cards) but also must attack the Cards pressure while not playing out of control. It sounds difficult (and it is - Louisville is the #1 overall seed), but Arizona needs to avoid playing a helter skelter type game. If they do, Louisville will run away with this one. The Cards are simply deeper and tougher.

BIAH Pick: You think we would really go against the Cards here?

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