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Final Four: How Kentucky and Louisville match up

March 30, 2012|By Chris Dufresne
  • Louisville head coach Rick Pitino stands on the court during practice on Friday.
Louisville head coach Rick Pitino stands on the court during practice on… (David J. Phillip / Associated…)

A look at how Kentucky and Louisville match up in their Final Four game Saturday in New Orleans.

SCOUTING REPORT: Kentucky's size, speed and scoring ability from anywhere on the court present nightmarish problems for most opponents. The Wildcats are the best transition team in the country and also hold opponents to nation-best 37.5% shooting. Terrence Jones is a streaky player but when he's playing well Kentucky is all but unbeatable. Anthony Davis, of course, is a shot-blocking fiend with his 7-5 wingspan but has improved offensively during the course of the season. Louisville has trouble generating points but has won of late with a stingy 2-3 zone defense that likes to funnel traffic inside toward center Gorgui Dieng, who averages more than three blocks a game.

KEY TO THE GAME: Both teams need to keep their big men out of foul trouble. Gorgui Dieng averages 32 minutes a game but needs to play close to 40 for Louisville to stay in the game. He has fouled out five games this year. Louisville point guard Peyton Siva is fast--Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo called him "out of control in control"--but Louisville can't win a track meet so Siva must control the game's pace. Louisville wants to grind out the game and force Kentucky to make three-pointers.

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Final Four: How Kentucky and Louisville match up

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