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Previewing Louisville: Rutgers Basketball Game 27

Note: this post is from Dave.

After fighting their way against the Syracuse zone, and nearly pulling off the upset, Rutgers returns home to take on the Louisville Cardinals.

Louisville is ranked in the top twenty and is coming off a big win over UConn Friday night.

What do the Scarlet Knights have to do to pull of the upset?

More after the jump...

Beat the press and attack the zone...Louisville loves to press.  Under Fred Hill Rutgers was horrible against pressing teams.  But under Mike Rice, RU has greatly improved at breaking it.  If Rutgers can get through the Cardinals press, they'll have to pick and choose the moments where they actually push the ball.  If they fall back into a half court, they'll be facing a zone, and still have to get the ball into the paint.

Force the Cardnials to shoot the ball from bad spots... Against UConn, Louisville got to the basket.  They only scored 15 points from behind the arc, and while that ended up being the difference, most of their points came from going to the hoop.  Rutgers is going to have to close off the lane and not give the Cardinals a chance to get there.  Be ready, however, to close out on the shooter.  Pitino's teams have always loved the 3-point shot if the fast break isn't there.

Control Tempo... Louisville loves to run.  In pre-season practices, the rumor was Rick Pitino had the team play on a 24 second shot clock.  Pitino's teams want to score as much as possible, and RU can't get in a shoot out.  Once the press is broken, Rutgers is really going to have to use the shot clock and frustrate the Cards on the defensive end.

Rebound, Rebound, Rebound.... As has been an issue all season, in order to pull off the upset, Rutgers is going to have to be close in rebound differential.

Stop fouling...The turning point in the 'Cuse game was the foul differential.  Hopefully, back at the RAC, this won't be as much of a problem.  But RU's key players are still going to stay out of foul trouble.

The game is Tuesday night at the RAC.  It's a 9 pm start.

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