Louisville looks to stop Florida

Louisville is focused to stop Florida's three-pointing shooting in the West Regional finals Saturday afternoon in Phoenix.

Rick Pitino Opening Statement
COACH PITINO: It's a lot different when you have one day to prepare. It's a little unique, though, because we really know the Florida basketball team, as we're big fans of theirs. And as a coaching staff we're watching them all the time. And probably vice-versa, they watch us all the time.

It's a little bit different. Normally it's a big problem with one-day prep, but we're going to know them, they're going to know us, and it should be a very exciting game.

Q. Peyton or Chris, what challenge does Florida guards pose?
PEYTON SIVA: The Florida guards are really good. They can shoot three-point, they're quick, they're all good. And it's going to be our job to contain them and keep them limited on three-point field goals.

CHRIS SMITH: It's their speed and passing. We'll just have to really contain that.

Q. Why do you think your defense has been so effective at stopping teams from shooting 3's effectively? And how difficult will that be against a Florida team that loves to shoot them?
CHRIS SMITH: Well, our ball pressure is like tremendous. We trace the ball wherever it goes. And we just really try to keep it out of reaching the three-point line. And with this team we have to step out even deeper with NBA range, because those guys can really shoot it.

KYLE KURIC: Pretty much like Chris said. We put pressure on the pass, so they can't get a clean pass, they can't get shot off as quick. And we extend our defense to the point where they have to shoot the ball really deep or under duress.

Q. Talk about Erik Murphy. He's a stretch forward that steps out and shoots a lot of 3's. You're going to have to talk about being aware of him outside the three-point line.
CHANE BEHANAN: When guards get drove on, little P told me to try to contain him, stay with him. And I've got an advantage over him with jumping ability and my strength. So I'm just trying to take full advantage of that as I can.

Q. A lot has been made of Florida, how many 3's they shoot. Nobody has made more per game than them this year. How much do you think that will adjust your defense, if at all?
PEYTON SIVA: I think we will do the same. We played teams that shot the ball like them, Cincinnati, they shot the ball three or four feet behind the three-point line. And I think we're going to have to do the same thing we did against them, extend our zone and try to run them off the three-point line. They are a great shooting team. They make over 10 three-point field goals a game. I think we have a tough job, but I believe in our guards to put a lot of pressure on their guards to keep them off the three-point line.

Q. You guys have thrived so much on this us against the world mentality throughout this postseason. Does it seem a little awkward now that you have a game where you're expected to win against a lower seed?
CHANE BEHANAN: It does feel awkward, just knowing that throughout the whole regular season people was kind of doubting us. Once we won the Big East tournament, now they have faith in us and stuff like that.

We don't let it get to us. We've just got to stick together as a team. Only worry about the people that's inside the locker room and inside the lines when we go play.

Q. Do you watch film of Florida and think, hey, that's our press, we run that, we run that set? How often does that occur?
PEYTON SIVA: Florida, you know, they have different sets than us. But they like to get up and down. They like to shoot a lot of 3's. Coach P coached him and he worked under Coach P, so you're going to see some similar sets. But it's a lot different than what you expect. The style of play is still the same, they like to get up and down and shoot 3's. They're a good team.

CHRIS SMITH: You know, they play pretty tough defense and in their press, but other than that, like Peyton said, they have pretty different plays than us. They run a lot of dribble drive to get jump shots.

Q. We've seen this kind of mentor-protege relationship unfold in the NCAA tournament before. And not every coach likes it because of all the emotions involved. In that sense do you kind of dread going against Billy tomorrow or is it just like any other challenge?
COACH PITINO: Not at all. It's the opposite for me because if we were playing school X tomorrow and we lost, I'd be devastated not going to a Final Four. I'll be professionally very down about not going to a Final Four, but personally I'll be very happy for Billy Donovan.

Q. It's been awhile since you guys coached against each other, but does the fact that you've never lost to them, does that have any meaning on tomorrow's match-up?
COACH PITINO: It really doesn't, because when you're coaching at Marshall and you have much better talent, and I'm never going to Marshall, he's coming to Kentucky, you don't expect to win most of the time.

So you can never look at those things because he was at a tremendous disadvantage. If we had the same type of talent, then it would be a different situation. But that's not the case. We just played at home and had more talent, with the exception of a couple of games where we went home to home with Florida and Louisville.

Q. Where is Florida's 3-point shooting on your list of priorities heading into this game?
COACH PITINO: I think the three-point shot for us is a priority every game. It was a priority with Michigan State. It was a tremendous priority with New Mexico. It was a priority with Davidson. It's been one of the top three elements in all of the games. It was with Cincinnati in the Finals.

So defending -- we're not always going to make it, because we're not a great shooting team. So if we don't make that a priority, the disparity would be too great.

We've won this year giving up 3's and not shooting it ourselves. And if you look at Wisconsin, they made 14 3's and still loss to Syracuse.

<a href='http://msn.foxsports.com/video?videoid=1ed7ea13-5270-4dca-8f78-d92ff1b066c1&src=v5:embed::' target='_new' title='%%MATCH_0%% ready to shut down %%MATCH_1%%' >Video: Louisville ready to shut down Florida</a>

Louisville-Florida Notes

The University of Florida is appearing in its 15th NCAA Tournament, holding a 32-12 record all- time with two national championships, three trips to the national final and four Final Four appearances. Since 2006, the Gators are 18-2 in the NCAA Tournament.

This season marks the 12th NCAA Tournament for Florida under head coach Billy Donovan. With a 28-9 mark in the tournament, Donovan's .757 winning percentage in the tournament is third- highest among active coaches, trailing only Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams.

Donovan has coached the Gators to both of their national championships and all three championship game appearances in three Final Four trips.

Florida is making its sixth Elite Eight appearance in program history, holding a 4-1 mark in its previous five appearances. The Gators are in their fourth Elite Eight in the past seven years (since 2006) and have reached back-to-back Elite Eights twice in that span.

The Gators are 17-9 under Donovan vs. Big East foes, including 3-1 in the NCAA Tournament. Florida faces a Big East team for the second game in a row after defeating Marquette, 68-58, in the Sweet 16. This marks the third time that UF has faced a pair of Big East teams in the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight (Connecticut and Boston College in 1994; Georgetown and Villanova in 2006).

University of Louisville will be looking to advance to its ninth NCAA Final Four on Saturday. Louisville is tied for seventh in NCAA Final Four appearances, last reaching that plateau in 2005. Louisville's NCAA Final Four teams: 1959, 1972, 1975, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1986, 2005.

The Cardinals have reached the Sweet 16 on 18 occasions and have advanced to the Elite Eight three of the last five seasons. This is the 12th overall visit to the Elite Eight for the Cardinals.

Only seven coaches have coached more Final Four teams than Louisville Coach Rick Pitino's five, a feat matched by four others. Pitino is the first coach to lead three different teams to the Final Four.

Louisville has an 8-3 record in regional championship games. U of L advanced to its 1986 NCAA Championship by way of the West Region, reached its 2005 Final Four through the West, and have a collective 14-5 record in the region.

Louisville has a 3-1 record when facing a No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament (1980, 1986, 2004, 2005). The Cardinals improved to 13-7 when playing as a No. 4 seed.

Louisville is 40-8 in NCAA Tournament play when the Cards are the higher seed as it will be in Saturday's game vs. No. 7 seed Florida. U of L Coach Rick Pitino has a 32-6 record when his team is the higher seed in NCAA Tournament action.

Pitino has a 5-4 record in regional championship games and has reached the Elite Eight for the third time in the last five years (fourth time in the last eight years). Pitino has a collective 108-39 record during the month of March (.735). He is the first coach to guide three different schools to the NCAA Final Four.

A big East team has emerged from a West Region in Phoenix three times. University of Connecticut advanced as the region winner in 1999, 2004 and 2009, winning the national championship twice (1999, 2004).

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