USF Men's Basketball Preview - Louisville

The University of South Florida ((10-8, 1-4) will square off against the defending National Champion Louisville Cardinals (16-3, 5-1) on Wednesday night inside the Sun Dome at 7:00 on ESPNU. USFNation.com previews the matchup between the Bulls and the 12th-ranked Cardinals.

TAMPA BAY, FL.-- The South Florida Bulls will continue to battle their way through the toughest part of their schedule this evening, when they square off with the defending National Champion and the No. 12, Louisville Cardinals.

The Cardinals lead the American Athletic Conference with 83.1 point per game, which ranks 17th in the nation as well. Leading Rick Pitino's squad is senior guard, Russ Smith, who is lighting up defense for 18.3 points per game. Last week, Smith was named the AAC Player of the Week after he averaged 20.5 point a game for a Cardinals team that's won five of the last six games.

Chris Jones, a junior-college transfer from Memphis, will be out of action for the third straight game for Rick Pitino. The 5-foot-10 guard is second on the Cardinals team with 47 assists and is averaging 11.3 points per game. On the year, Jones has started 13 games for Louisville.

Upfront for the Cardinals, Rick Pitino has 6-foot-8, 235-pound sophomore forward, Montrezl Harrell. On the year, Harrell is averaging 12 points, 8.4 rebounds with an assist, block and steal a game on 63 percent shooting. Last time out against Connecticut, Harrell recorded 18 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks in a 76-64 win against the Huskies. Louisville is averaging 39.5 rebounds per game, which ranks 26th in the NCAA.

The Bulls haven't beat a ranked team since Feb. 24, 2012 when they defeated the No. 19 Louisville Cardinals. A win tonight would break that long streak, as well as their current two-game losing steak.

Louisville leads the all-time series 27-4, including an 11-2 advantage in Tampa Bay in front of the Bulls' home crowd.

The game will be televised on ESPNU, and will tip-off at 7:00 inside the Bulls' beautiful Sun Dome.


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