College Basketball

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Cardinals collide with Bulls in AAC affair

Louisville, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - The 11th-ranked Louisville Cardinals will try for their fifth straight win on Tuesday night when they welcome the South Florida Bulls to the KFC Yum! Center on Tuesday night for an American Athletic Conference bout.

Although USF started its season a stellar 9-4 during its non-conference schedule, things have taken a turn for the worse in the AAC, winning just three of 13 matchups to dip to 12-14 overall. The Bulls are currently losers of three straight, most recently dropping a tough 75-74 contest versus UCF on Saturday, but they are surprisingly a solid 5-4 on the road.

Louisville dismantled Rutgers on its home floor on Sunday, 102-54, and have made a dominating statement during its four-game winning streak by outscoring its opponents by an astounding 26.0 ppg. The Cardinals are now 21-4 overall this season, including 13-2 on their home floor, and at 10-2 in the conference, they are a game and a half behind Cincinnati for first place with six games remaining, including a showdown with the Bearcats on Saturday.

The Cardinals have won 28 of 32 all-time matchups with the Bulls, which includes an easy 86-47 triumph in Tampa earlier this season.

In a back-and-forth contest with UCF that consisted of seven ties and 10 lead changes, the Bulls held a lead in the final minute before falling victim to the game-winning layup by UCF with under two seconds remaining. The Bulls shot an impressive 49.1 percent from the field on the afternoon, but they could not keep pace with the Knights (.509). Martino Brock provided a spark off the bench with 21 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the floor, while Victor Rudd also poured in 21 points to go with nine rebounds.

USF is typically not a strong offensive club, as it shoots just 43.3 percent from the field (including 25.6 percent from 3-point range) for 66.0 ppg. Its defensive effort has been lacking as well, allowing 70.5 ppg while sporting a -1.3 turnover margin. Rudd is the unquestioned catalyst with 14.9 ppg and 6.7 rpg, although he shoots a modest 41.1 percent from the field. Corey Allen Jr. (9.9 ppg), Chris Perry (9.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg) and Brock (9.4 ppg) have been solid as well.

Louisville opened up a 19-point lead at the half of its most recent game and only improved after intermission en route to its most convincing victory of the season, as it shot 55.7 percent from the field, including a red-hot 16- of-30 from beyond the arc, while holding Rutgers to more turnovers (18) than field goals (17). Luke Hancock was especially dangerous from 3-point range, knocking down 6-of-8 from long distance for 25 points. Terry Rozier (16 points) and Wayne Blackshear (10) were both impressive off the bench, while five others scored at least seven points in the balanced effort.

With the Cardinals manhandling their opponents in recent weeks, they have only improved upon their outstanding season totals, as they outshoot their opponents from the field, 48.1 percent to 39.5 percent, and own the nation's best scoring margin at a whopping +21.2. They are also active in the passing lanes with the country's third-ranked turnover margin (+6.7) and knock down 8.4 3-pointers per game at a 37.9 percent clip. Russ Smith has firmly established himself as one the nation's best guards with 17.7 ppg, 4.6 apg and 1.8 spg, while making nearly 39 percent of his 3-pointers. Montrezl Harrell mans the paint with 12.6 ppg, 8.3 rpg and 1.4 bpg, while Hancock (12.0 ppg), Chris Jones (10.8 ppg) and Blackshear (9.8 ppg) round out a very deep squad.

02/18 10:36:24 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHR 2
DUR 9
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
CHI
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
7:05pm Tuesday
PHI 0
ATL 0
7:05pm Tuesday
NYY 0
CHC 0
7:05pm Tuesday
BAL 0
TAM 0
7:08pm Tuesday
DET 0
CLE 0
Final
CIN 7
PIT 5
Final
MIA 11
WAS 2
Final
TEX 5
SEA 0
Final
CWS 2
BOS 1
Final
HOU 2
KAN 4
Final
MIL 1
STL 6
Final
MIN 3
TOR 9
Final
ARI 0
NYM 9
Final
ANA 9
OAK 10
Final
SDP 2
COL 3
Final
SFG 3
LOS 2
12:35pm Today
CIN
PIT
12:35pm Today
BAL
TAM
 
1:05pm Today
NYY
CHC
 
1:10pm Today
MIL
STL
 
3:40pm Today
ARI
NYM
 
7:05pm Tonight
PHI
ATL
 
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
CHC
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CLE
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
SEA
 
8:10pm Tonight
CWS
BOS
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
KAN
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
TOR
 
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
10:15pm Tonight
SFG
LOS
 
Final
BRK 98
NYK 109
Final
LAC 117
DEN 105
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
CHI
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
IND
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIL
ATL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CLE
BRK
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
DAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
DET
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
HOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
SAN
LAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
PHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
NYK
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
UTA
 
8:00pm Tonight
BOS
WAS
 
10:30pm Tonight
DEN
GSW
 
10:30pm Tonight
POR
LAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
SAC
PHO
 
7:00pm Tonight
TAM
MON
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
CLB
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
DAL
Final
CHR 2
DUR 9
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR