In preperation to face the 4th-ranked Cardinals, third-year Memphis head coach John Calipari seems to be turning to the officiating crew for assistance prior to the game tipping off.
"We have an NCAA Final Four [officiating] crew on the game which means we're not going to have all the hand checking and the pushing and shoving," said Calipari during Monday's Conference USA teleconference. "There's just not going to be shoving in the post for a rebound. These guys are too good. They'll officiate it like an NCAA Tournament game."
Officials Jim Burr, Tim Higgins and Curtis Shaw, who all have Final Four experience, arrived in Louisville on Monday in preperation for the Conference USA showdown.
Calipari also mentioned that knowing that the officiating crew that is calling this nationally televised game is championship caliber, has allowed him to feel comfortable while preparing to play Louisville.
"You want to be able to go [to Louisville] feeling comfortable," said Calipari.
He continued to explain that some teams that fair well during the regular season may have difficulty during the NCAA tournament because of improved officiating.
"The teams that can't advance [in the tournament] go through the season fouling in every game," explained Calipari. "Then they get in the NCAA and the officials start calling the fouls and they lose the game."
Calipari also described why the game is important for both the Cardinals and Tigers.
"The reason this game is important is one, you are talking about a road game that you aren't supposed to win and two, it's going to have an atmosphere like the NCAA tournament," said Calipari. "They are going to have a jammed packed arena that is waiting for Memphis and it'll be as big a game as they'll play this year."
"The energy is always high at Louisville," continued Calipari, who is 64-29 at Memphis. "They are well coached and they have great players. They are good."