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Memphis Tigers vs. Louisville Cardinals Preview

The Cardinals

Louisville plummeted in the AP Poll after taking a big loss and will ideally begin their climb back up the poll against the Memphis Tigers.

Louisville will be returning home after 23 long days on the road, and it will be a welcome homecoming. Among their long stretch of road games was a loss to instate rivals the Kentucky Wildcats. This is the loss that had them drop in the polls from No. 6 to well out of the top ten. However, they have since one a pair of games and are just outside of the top 10 looking in an No. 12. Returning to familiar surrounding will undoubtedly help the Cards get back on track.

Memphis was playing very hot up until a 69-53 loss to Cincinnati on Saturday. They had won three straight games and were on a 27-game win streak against league opponents.

Memphis would like to get a dose of revenge on their conference rivals before they head to the ACC this fall. Louisville has beaten Memphis four straight times in this rivalry.

On paper, these two teams are very similar.  Both are on the AP top 25, Louisville is No. 12 while Memphis is sit at #24. Both have some losses on the season, Louisville with two the Tigers with three. Both teams have a high-scoring offense and both teams average 39 rebounds, five blocked shots and 10 steals per game.

Cincinnati beat Memphis by controlling the tempo of the game and slowing down the Tigers. However, the Tigers do not really have the skill set to employ a similar strategy.  Instead they will rely on their smothering defense to slow the Tigers fast paced offense.

A stat the bodes well for the Tigers, is that any time Louisville has faced a ranked opponent this year they have lost.  Granted they have only face two ranked teams, Kentucky and UNC, who have since dropped off the list.

Keeping Louisville’s schedule in mind, many have began to speculate the the Cards may be overrated as they have not beat anyone who matters. A win against Memphis will quiet down those grumblings, while a loss will make them louder than ever.

The Cardinals are the favorites to win this one with a -10 points spread. The game starts at 7 p.m. ET.

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