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Wednesday, March 04, 2009


March 4, 2009

Louisville has (T-)willed themselves into position to claim the Big East regular season crown and there is going to be a lot of emotion in Freedom Hall tonight as the fans take the opportunity to bid farewell to the seniors on the UL roster. They will also get a chance to honor Earl Clark, a junior, who has made his intentions of heading to the NBA after this season very clear.

Terrence Williams, Andre McGee and Will Scott will be the trio of seniors playing their final game in Freedom Hall and the Louisville faithful will be very determined to help send them out on a high note with a win over visiting Seton Hall.

The Pirates also have something to play for as they hope to do enough in the regular season to have a shot at a bid to the NIT following the 2009 Big East Tournamant next week at Madison Square Garden. The Pirates are 15-13 overall, 6-10 in the Big East, so the odds are quite slim as a win over Louisville or Cincinnati, both road games, will likely be needed prior to NYC.

Here are some pregame stories and previews on tonight's game:

Farewell to four Who Fared Well (Louisville Courier-Journal)
Louisvilleā€™s Scott Closing in on MBA, Not NBA (
UL Senior Day: Feast for the Eyes, Ears (Courier-Journal)

Last season Seton Hall upset Louisville in the Prudential Center, a fact that Rick Pitino will likely use to help motivate his squad, who last season finished one-game behind Georgetown in the regular season standings. This season, Louisville can claim at least a share of the regular season crown by beating the Pirates and West Virginia this week to close out the regular season. So, with senior night and the regular season title on the line, not to mention the possibility of a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament as well, there is plenty at stake for the Cards.

Seton Hall seemed to unravel a bit against Pittsburgh in their final home game before a sell-out crown Saturday night at 'The Rock' in Newark (NJ). The Pirates lost 89-78, but Pitt led by as much as 19 before a surge in the final minute against the Panthers' walk-ons made the final a bit more cosmetically pleasing. Seton Hall was assessed three technical fouls in the game and their frantic team personality seems to wear on opponents, officials and, even in some cases, each other at times.

The Pirates will likely try and create a frantic pace against UL and turn Cardinal miscues into quick points, usually with Jeremy Hazell firing away from the three-point line. However, unlike most nights, SHU will see a team looking to press them as well, so while the pace of the game may be in the SHU comfort zone, UL just has more players, and more talented players, to make it work for them.

The college basketball betting odds list UL as a 16 1/2-point favorite in tonight's game. With the emotion and high stakes for the Cards, expect them to put forth a strong effort, especially on the defensive end of the court.

NBE Blogger Prediction:

Louisville 85
Seton Hall 67



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