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NCAA Basketball

Big East Basketball Tournament: Finals Preview

Game: Cincinnati – Louisville 9:00 PM ET

Game Analysis: With all the fire power in the Big East Conference, no one expected to tournament championship to end being Cincinnati versus Louisville. The Bearcats are coming off an improbable 71-68 win last night over a Syracuse team that was ranked second in the nation.  Louisville conversely knocked off Georgetown and Marquette to get to the finals, as Rick Pitino has brought a very experienced team with him to Madison Square Garden.

Matchup to Watch:  F Yancy Gates, Cincinnati vs. F Gorgui Deng, Louisville – At 6-foot-11, Deng is one of the only true centers in the conference.  He is averaging an impressive 9.2 rebounds per game and will be impossible to guard if he gets behind the Bearcats’ defense.  Gates on the other hand is only 6-foot-9, but plays the position much taller than he really is. He is an imposing presence down-low and is much more athletic than the taller Deng.  Expect Gates and Deng to get into some heated exchanges down low, as both players continue to rack up fouls this tournament.

Player to Watch: G Sean Kilpatrick, Cincinnati – Kilpatrick dominated last night against Cuse, as he scored 18 of the team’s 71 points and knocked down 6 3-pointers. Kilpatrick is outstanding at coming off screens and has athletic forwards to help him get space at the top of the key. Kilpatrick will likely lead the Bearcats in scoring and shots by the end of the game.

Prediction: Cincinnati 62 – Louisville 57