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Syracuse - Louisville Preview

Syracuse students agree: Being #1 means defending it.
I've agonized over a few previews this season, but this may be the hardest one as of yet. There isn't much at stake for Syracuse in this game. They have already locked in a NCAA Tournament bid and most likely a #1 seed. The only thing they will gain is a defense of their #1 ranking, which honestly doesn't really mean anything one way or the other in the long run. However there is much at stake for Louisville. The Cardinals are likely needing another big win to finally punch their NCAA dance card. On top of that added pressure on Louisville it is also their last home game as they bid farewell to their seniors. As if that wasn't enough, it is the final game in Freedom Hall. Yes, historic Freedom Hall, host of several National Championships, and home to a team that won a couple themselves. So really, most of the pressure falls on Louisville and Rick Pitino. Louisville still only has two big impact players in Samardo Samuels (15.5ppg, 7.1rpg) and Edgar Sosa (12.9ppg, 4.4apg). Louisville shoots 44.7% from the floor, while Syracuse is still leading the nation with 51.8%. Syracuse also happens to be playing their best basketball right now, as evident by their last two games. Arinze Onuaku and Rick Jackson have been huge down low. If Syracuse can avoid their scoring drought like they had against Louisville the first time, and continue to feed the ball down low and get good shooting from everyone else, it will not matter what kind of shape Wes Johnson's hand is in, or what Louisville does on their end. I do think Syracuse plays spoiler in this one, although this probably will be a close game. Look for Syracuse to finish the regular season off right, winning by eight.

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