Louisville Avoids Potential Trap Game With Victory Over South Florida

By Schuyler Machcinski
Russ Smith
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday night will be a huge game for the Louisville Cardinals. They’ll head to Cincinnati to battle the Bearcats in a game that may in fact decide the American Athletic Conference regular-season champion.

But first, the Cardinals had other matters to attend to as they hosted and demolished South Florida 80-54.

It’s quite common to see a situation in college basketball where a team is looking ahead to an important, nationally-televised game instead of worrying about the one right in front of them.

Louisville bucked that trend and continued their razor sharp play as they picked up their fifth-straight win and their ninth in their past ten.

Russ Smith led the offensive attack with 19 points while Luke Hancock added 16. The Cardinals’ perimeter defense was also on point as they held the Bulls to just 10 percent shooting from behind the three-point line.

Tonight’s win also continued the recent streak of Louisville blowout victories. This was their third-straight triumph by at least 24 points.

None of their recent wins have come against the top tier of the conference, but head coach Rick Pitino can certainly use these as confidence builders as the NCAA Tournament draws near.

Despite their record of 22-4, the defending-champion Cardinals are not mentioned in too many conversations involving national title contenders.

Along with Saturday’s contest against the Bearcats, Louisville still has dates with tourney hopefuls SMU, Memphis and Connecticut.

If the Cards can continue to rout teams that are similar in talent, don’t count them out of the national title picture just yet.

Schuyler Machcinski is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @MachcinskiSky, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.




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