No. 5 Louisville Up Next for Rutgers

Rutgers survived against South Florida and faces a quick turnaround against No. 5 Louisville Thursday at 3 p.m. The Scarlet Knights played Louisville close at home, but suffered one of its worst blowouts of the season on the road in 2014.

Rutgers meets No. 5 Louisville in the AAC quarterfinals today from the FedEx Forum, and the Scarlet Knights do not see themselves as the same team that crumbled against the Cardinals less than a month ago.

Rutgers lost 102-54 the last time it faced the Cardinals. This time, the only way Rutgers extends its season is with an upset victory.

For Louisville, winning the AAC likely gives it a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

"Look, it's a national stage, a great challenge, a great opportunity for to us play with a lot of confidence, to show people where we are and I'm looking forward to it," said Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan. "I really am."

Jordan explained in his Wednesday post-game press conference why he does not expect a similar result in round three. Facing Louisville on short rest, the Scarlet Knights expect a better result despite checking in as 19-point underdogs.

"We have come together and the team chemistry has gotten a lot better," Jordan said. "We've become a better defensive team, a better offensive team, sharing the ball with each other so I think our confidence level and our defense can keep us in the game."

The Scarlet Knights dropped USF 72-68 in the first round with four players finishing in double figures.

Center Wally Judge put up a double double before fouling out, and guard J.J. Moore iced the game with clutch free throws and his 1,000th career point.

"We didn't go haywire, we kept our discipline and kept poised and something I have been preaching all year from the beginning, you have to compete with composure, you have to have a great personality on the floor, you have to help your teammates, your demeanor means a lot and that was the key element to me," Jordan said.

Rutgers tips off against Louisville with just 18 hours rest after beating USF in the first round. The win against the Bulls, the third of the year, represents the first three-game sweep for Rutgers against any time since the Bob Wenzel era.

"Our team leadership has gotten better throughout the season," said captain Myles Mack, who scored 15 points. "Me, Kadeem [Jack] and the guys talk about confidence and staying together. We stayed together throughout the first half. Second half the confidence level of staying together went down a little bit but we fought through it."

Joday Demling of CardinalAuthority.com contributed to this report.


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