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NCAA Basketball Louisville Cardinals

Louisville Basketball: 5 Early Predictions For The 2014-15 Season

5 Early Predictions For Louisville Basketball In 2014-15

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Louisville's season was ended by in-state rival Kentucky in the Elite Eight last season, but the Cardinals are primed and ready for another deep tournament run in 2014-15. It will be the Cardinals' first season in the ACC, a conference that will be college basketball's best next year. The return of Montrezl Harrell, however, makes the Cardinals immediate title contenders for both the ACC and NCAA crowns in the upcoming season.

5. Terry Rozier Will Surprise People As A Great Defender

Terry Rozier Louisville
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5. Terry Rozier Will Surprise People As A Great Defender

Terry Rozier Louisville
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In a conference littered with great guard play, Louisville will need sophomore Terry Rozier to be a great on-ball defender in order for the Cardinals to contend in the ACC next season. Despite only playing 19 minutes per game last season, Rozier proved to be an adept defender in his limited minutes. His playing time will be significantly increased in 2014-15, and the Cardinals need him to respond accordingly.

4. Louisville's Defense Will Be Second In ACC In Opponent's PPG

Montrezl Harrell Louisville
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4. Louisville's Defense Will Be Second In ACC In Opponent's PPG

Montrezl Harrell Louisville
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Last season Louisville's defense was stout, surrendering just 61.1 points per game to opposing teams. The surprise return of big man Montrezl Harrell means the Cardinals will post similar numbers this season, but it will only be good enough for second in next year's ACC. The Virginia Cavaliers gave up just 55.7 points per game last year, a number that Tony Bennett's squad could improve upon next season.

3. Montrezl Harrell and Mangok Mathiang Will Be Best Defensive Frontcourt In ACC

Harrell Mathiang Louisville
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3. Montrezl Harrell and Mangok Mathiang Will Be Best Defensive Frontcourt In ACC

Harrell Mathiang Louisville
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It will be incredibly difficult for opposing teams to score inside against the Cardinals next season, as the athletic 6-foot-8 forward Montrezl Harrell and 6-foot-10 center Mangok Mathiang will be patrolling the paint. Not many teams in the country have frontcourts that can compete with the likes of those two, and that will be a significant advantage for Louisville in the ACC in 2014-15.

2. Louisville Will Win The ACC Regular Season Crown

Chris Jones Louisville
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2. Louisville Will Win The ACC Regular Season Crown

Chris Jones Louisville
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Louisville has a difficult but navigable schedule in 2014-15, with the majority of the team's tough games coming at home in the KFC Yum! Center, where the Cardinals are 66-9 dating back to the 2010 season. The conference race will be closely contested, as Duke and Louisville will most likely battle it out for the top two spots. The slight difference could be that the Blue Devils and Cardinals only play once, and it is a home game for Louisville.

1. Louisville Will Make A Deep Run In The NCAA Tournament

Rick Pitino Louisville
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1. Louisville Will Make A Deep Run In The NCAA Tournament

Rick Pitino Louisville
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Louisville will be a battle-tested squad come NCAA Tournament time, a fact that could be a distinct advantage for the Cardinals in March. Louisville has high expectations next season, and anything less than a trip to the Final Four will probably be considered a failure.

Jacob Dennis is an ACC Basketball writer at RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook, and add him to your network on Google