Shooting, Rebounding Propel Louisville Past Connecticut

By Phil Naegely
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

In a great match-up between two quality American Athletic Conference programs, the University of Louisville took on the Connecticut Huskies. In the end, Louisville prevailed due to their overall shooting and rebounding.

When you out-rebound a team by 15, in this case 45-30, it is easy to control the game. In the Cardinals’ case, 16 of their 45 rebounds were offensive, and they out-rebounded Connecticut on the offensive boards by a ratio of 2:1. This offensive rebound advantage was key to earning extra scoring chances, while limiting Connecticut’s additional scoring chance. Louisville’s 46 percent field goal shooting was raised due to the team successfully capitalizing on these second-chance opportunities.

In addition to their solid field-goal shooting, Louisville defeated Connecticut due to their made free throws. While the Huskies did better at the line, percentage wise, Louisville made three more. A game’s end result does not always come down to percentage made, but rather the total about of shots made form the charity stripe. Saturday’s game was one of those.

While Louisville was the ranked team, this win positively affects their future and builds their March Madness  resume. Remember how ESPN and other sites always review key wins and key losses when figuring out who makes the tournament? Well, mark my words, Saturday’s victory lays a solid foundation to Louisville’s tournament resume.

Saturday’s win was overall a solid success for Louisville. From field goal shooting to free throws to rebounding, the Cardinals showed why they are ranked in the top 25 and what it takes to make 2014 NCAA Tournament. But with any sport, a team must perform well over an entire season and not just in one game. Louisville faces tough opposition moving forward, but if they can play like Saturday, they should be an easy pick to play come March.

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