Louisville Cardinals (23-8, 12-6 Big East): Cardinals Aim For Second Big East Tournament Crown

Louisville Cardinals (23-8, 12-6 Big East)

Big East Tournament Seed:  No. 3; play 6/11/14 winner on Thursday (9 p.m. on ESPN).

Head Coach: Rick Pitino, who's coaching his 10th season at Louisville, is one of the three living legends currently coaching in the Big East Conference. Pitino, who led the Cardinals to their first ever Big East Tournament title in 2008, has nine Elite 8 and five Final Four appearances on his resume.

Team MVP: Senior guard Preston Knowles is Louisville's biggest threat to put up big numbers. The 6-foot-1 guard is the team's leading scorer (14.5 points per game), shooter (7.6 3-point attempts per game) and team captain. The best aspect about Knowles, a All-Big East second teamer, is that he has been the team's leading scorer just once in the Cardinals' last 12 games.

Playing For: A Big East Tournament title would probably propel Louisville to a solid No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but who knows what will happen. The Cardinals downed No. 1-seed candidate Pittsburgh last Sunday, Feb. 27, but lost at the West Virginia Mountaineers on Saturday.

Breakdown: Knowles and junior Kyle Kuric (10.8 ppg) lead a team that lives and dies by the 3-pointer. If I received a dollar for every 3-point attempt that Louisville chucked up this season (750), I'd be able to throw a great Big East Tournament party (you wouldn't even need to BYOB). Knowles is a player who will shoot from anyplace, while Kuric is a sharp-shooter (45.5-percent on 3-pointers) and is the most underrated player in the league.

Sophomore guard Peyton Siva, who averages 9.9 points, 2.9 rebounds, 5.9 assists and leads the conference in steals per game (2.1) does all the small things. The question is, can the Cardinals survive without sophomore forward Rakeem Buckles, who suffered a season-ending knee injury last Sunday?

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