Final road test for the Cards

The University of Louisville men's basketball team will play its final true road game of the season on Saturday. And it's a biggie. The Cardinals will face Syracuse at noon in the Carrier Dome with Big East implications.

U of L (23-5, 11-4) has won seven of eight games since a three-game losing streak that started with a loss to Syracuse on Jan. 19. The Cardinals were ranked No. 1 when the Orange knocked them off 70-68.

Now, Syracuse (22-6, 10-5) has lost two in a row and has dropped five of its 10 games since the victory in the Yum Center.

U of L gets a shot to atone for the earlier loss with a CBS game in Syracuse, N.Y., that could have major Big East implications.

With games against Cincinnati and Notre Dame at home next week, U of L is tied with Marquette for second-place in the league behind Georgetown. The Cardinals must win out to have a shot at the league title.

"We all know how big of a win this would be," U of L junior guard Russ Smith, who reached the 1,000-point mark of his career on Wednesday in a victory over DePaul, said on Friday afternoon.

A victory would not only keep the Cardinals in the hunt for the title but would also give them five wins in a row.

U of L coach Rick Pitino said it was his goal to win the final seven games of the season before the Big East Tournament.

Cardinal Authority will be chatting throughout the game.

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