The University of Louisville steamrolled its way into the Semifinals of the American Athletic Conference Tournament on Thursday afternoon in a dismemberment of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 92-31. Houston on the other hand had a hard-fought battle with SMU to advance to the semifinals 68-64. The win for Houston was the 2nd in as many games vs. the Top 25.
Houston 17-15 would need an American Conference Tournament Championship to advance to next week’s NCAA Tournament. The Cards traded home & away match-ups with the Cougars during conference play with UofL victorious in both (91-52 at the KFC Yum! Center and 77-62 in Houston).
In the first contest Wayne Blackshear popped for 23 points, while Wayne missed the return match-up with a concussion. Houston had solid efforts from TaShawn Thomas & Jherrod Stiggers previously and the Cougars are trending upwards of late mainly due to the recent emergence of LJ Rose. Rose scored a grand total of 7 points in both match-ups against the Cards this year and if the Cards hope to move into Saturday’s Championship game in the FedEx Forum they must make sure that Rose doesn’t expand total on the Cards.
Right now, Louisville is playing with ease, beating a very good UCONN team by 33 in the final regular season game and handing Rutgers their 3rd loss from the Cards on Thursday by a 61-point margin. The most noticeable difference has been Russ Smith running more point guard and a more confident Chris Jones. Also Stephan Van Treese and Mangok Mathiang both are reboudning more reliably and steady performances from Wayne Blackshear have certainly helped solidify the Cards as THE threat to win the American Athletic Conference Championship and the league’s automatic bid on Sunday.
|Points Per Game||81.8 (10th)||71.4 (151st)|
|Avg Scoring Margin||20.2 (1st)||minus 1.3 (203rd)|
|Field Goal %||47.5% (23rd)||45.8% (77th)|
|Rebound Rate||52.0% (76th)||48.9% (227th)|
|Blocks Per Game||4.8 (47th)||5.5 (22nd)|
|Steals Per Game||10.0 (2nd)||5.5 (238th)|
|Assists Per Game||15.6 (17th)||14.7 (46th)|
|Turnovers Per Game||10.5 (30th)||12.6 (200th)|
|Opponent Turnovers Per Game||17.4 (2nd)||11.3 (255th)|
|Team Fouls Per Game||19.9 (228th)||18.2 (96th)|
|2-point FG%||53.2% (23rd)||50.1% (106th)|
|3-point FG%||37.4% (56th)||36.4% (83rd)|
|Free Throw %||65.4% (320th)||67.3% (263rd)|
|Opponent Shooting %||39.7% (16th)||44.6% (203rd)|
|Opponent 2-point FG%||44.4% (45th)||49.1% (188th)|
|Opponent 3-point FG%||29.3% (7th)||34.4% (169th)|
|Opponent Block Per Game||2.6 (17th)||3.7 (198th)|
|Opponent Steals Per Game||4.4 (8th)||6.5 (252nd)|