Louisville Moves Into The No. 1 Spot
Louisville is the No. 1 team in the nation in the Associated Press and USA Today polls this week. Despite the Cardinals’ storied winning tradition, it is only the second time in the regular season that Louisville is in the top spot in the national polls. The other time was at the end of the 2008-09 regular season. It is the 65th time that a BIG EAST team has been ranked first nationally.
Cardinals and Orange Battle Saturday
Louisville’s top-ranked status has already been tested. The Cardinals had to rally to win at UConn Monday night. On Saturday, Louisville hosts No. 6 Syracuse at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN. The Orange spent six weeks at No. 1 last season.
Marquette Also Making Its Mark
The Marquette Golden Eagles are tied with Louisville and Syracuse atop the BIG EAST standings with a 4-0 record and are 13-3 overall. Marquette has been winning the close ones in league play, two games by one point and another in overtime. Coach Buzz Williams has led the Golden Eagles to the NCAA Sweet 16 in each of the past two seasons. They were picked seventh in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches’ Poll, but are 4-0 in league play for the first time since 2008-09. Guard Vander Blue leads a balanced scoring attack with a 13.7 average. Forward Davonte Gardner comes off the bench, but is second in scoring at 13.1 ppg and first in rebounding at 5.4 rpg.
Road Trips Have Been Uncommonly Successful So Far
In BIG EAST play, road teams have enjoyed surprising success so far. They are 19-13 (.594) going into Thursday’s USF at Rutgers game. In BIG EAST history, road teams have never come close to compiling a winning record for a season. Other than the first year of league play in 1979-80 when seven teams played a total of 21 league games, the closest visiting teams have come to even a .500 record was in 1986-87 when the road teams were 33-39 (.458).