What the national media is saying about UofL and tonight's game

04/06/2013 11:18 AM

The CBS Sports crew unanimously picked UofL to beat the Shockers. Six contributors all said Louisville will win.

“Rick Pitino’s team has won 14 consecutive games by an average of 17.3 points, and the past 10 victories have all come at the expense of schools that also played in this NCAA tournament,” wrote Gary Parrish of College Basketball Insider.

“Wichita State looked rattled when Ohio State went to a press late in the game, and Louisville will do that for 40 minutes,” added Jeff Borzell of Eye on College Basketball.

Minus an agenda

CBS national columnist Gregg Doyel wrote that while Kevin Ware’s saga is compelling and offers a tempting news hook to those who have a beef with the NCAA set-up, it’s wrong to make Ware a poster-player for an agenda — whether it’s in favor of player compensation or PETA using it to call attention to horses that break their legs in races. He wrote:

“The players have the scholarship, and that’s great, but scholarships don’t always cover the full cost of tuition. Players have been known to graduate and owe their school thousands, even tens of thousands, of dollars. And unless those players are moving on to a career in professional sports, they’re stuck. It’s a bad system. I’ve attacked it myself. But to use Kevin Ware’s injury to attack the system? Awful. Ware isn’t a sandwich board to be worn by protesters.”

Just do it

It’s time to just play ball. That’s what ESPN’s Eamonn Brennan wrote after a week in which off-court drama from Rutgers’ firing of Mike Rice to the PAC-12 referee controversy has diverted much of the attention away from the Cards, Shockers, Wolverines and Orange.

Here’s the good news: On Saturday, the outside noise fades away. The basketball becomes the signal — and oh what a signal it should be.
The first of the two matchups, No. 1 overall seed Louisville versus 9-seed Wichita State, has been billed as a David and Goliath ordeal, and not without some reason. The Cardinals, a return visitor from last season’s New Orleans Final Four, are the overwhelming favorite to win the title, much as they were before the tournament began, coached by a man (Rick Pitino) who will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame early next week.

Five factors to watch

And Bill Connelly of SBNation wrote Thursday that five things will factor into a UofL win Saturday night: Louisville’s pressure and three-point shooting, as well as both teams’ ability to hit free-throws, get offensive boards and stepping up on the big stage.

Wichita State is not a Cinderella team. On paper, the Shockers are a legitimate top-20 team, one that overcame a bad seed and beat three other top-20 teams (Pomeroy rankings for their victims: No. 4 Gonzaga, No. 6 Ohio State, No. 11 Pitt, No. 51 La Salle) to make the Final Four … Still, this is the Shockers’ second Final Four ever; it’s Louisville’s second Final Four in two years.

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