The No. 4 Louisville Cardinals are taking on the No. 7 Florida Gators in an Elite Eight matchup to decide the winner of the West region of the NCAA Tournament.
It’s going to be an excellent game between two extremely competent teams that have gotten hot at the right time.
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about the matchup.
Where: US Airways Center, Phoenix, AZ
When: Saturday, March 24 at 4:30 p.m. EDT
Live Stream: NCAA.com
Betting Line: Pick ‘Em - Florida +107, Louisville -118; Over/Under 130 (via ScoresAndOdds.com)
No Major Injuries to Report
What's At Stake?
Nothing but a meaningless spot in the Final Four.
Obviously, this is a huge game for both programs looking to win their region in the tournament for the first time since 2007 in UF’s case and 2005 in Louisville’s.
The victor of this matchup will face either Baylor, Xavier, Indiana or Kentucky in the Final Four for the right to play in the Championship Game.
There is going to be an energy in this game that has yet to be seen from the tournament, and both teams will be fighting their hardest to come up with the W.
What They're Saying
According to Kevin Brockway of The Gainesville Sun, there will be an interesting coaching battle between student and mentor in Phoenix on Saturday night.
It [the game] will pit Florida coach Billy Donovan against his mentor, Louisville coach Rick Pitino.
Donovan is 0-6 against Pitino. His last meeting against his former coach at Providence was a 73-65 loss to Louisville on Dec. 13, 2004. Pitino gave Donovan his start in coaching when he hired him in 1989 as a graduate assistant at Kentucky
“Outside of my parents, he's the most influential person in my life,” Donovan said. “I'm very thankful for the opportunities he's given me as a player, as a coach.”
Most Important Player to Watch: Bradley Beal
Beal dominated against Marquette, putting up 21 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks while hitting on eight of his 10 shot attempts, including three of his five attempts from deep.
If Florida is to advance, Beal will have to keep that stellar play up while dealing with the unrelenting full-court pressure from Louisville.
Key Matchup: Defense
Louisville is one of the most tenacious teams on defense in the country. They can set the pace with the press by their guards and control the paint with their bigs.
This may throw Florida’s efficiency on offense out of whack, but the Gators can play their own lockdown defense.
Whoever controls the tempo and gets the best looks will come out on top.
Florida 65 – Louisville 64
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