March 15, Where It All Started [We Know The One Team UConn Can't Beat]

The 10-point differential flatters the Huskies. They were down 14 at halftime. The lead grew to 20 five minutes into the second half and stuck in the 15- to 19-point range until the closing minutes of garbage time.

The Cardinals are every bit as good as folks thought they might be at the beginning of the season, back when they were picked by the league coaches for No. 1 in the AAC, back when the writers had them third in the nation in the AP poll with 14 of the 55 first-place votes and a national coaching panel had them third in the ESPN poll with 10 of 33 first-place votes.

They are playing as well as any team in America right now.

Asked if he agreed, Napier answered: "I don't watch college basketball. I don't know what to tell you."

That's not a lie. Last year when the Huskies were ineligible for the tournament, Napier said he didn't watch either. He said he was watching "Animal Planet."

Harrell was the best player Saturday night. Smith was the best player over three nights in Memphis. Harrell is a bear and Louisville's 16 offensive rebounds went a long way into breaking this game open. Russ Smith is a mongoose. He is every bit as fast as Ryan Boatright and better at basketball. Shabazz Napier is a little better at basketball, but not as fast. It is startling to watch Smith on defensive pressure. He had five steals in this game and it felt like 10.

"That zone is definitely tough," Napier said. "They're not going to man-up. They kind of pack every thing in. Guys are just glued to myself and Niels [Giffey] and Boat when they run me off the ball. They definitely play good defense.

"I'm not surprised. I've playing it for a while. We've just to go figure it out. We lost it in the first half. We didn't play so well. We competed in the second half. We didn't move the ball the right way in the first half. We didn't knock down shots when we had open shots. We didn't find the rhythm. They did play great defense. And we gave up too many offensive rebounds in the first half."

All true. So we leave Memphis with these notions. Memphis is going to be shocked in the national tournament because it plays lousy defense. Cincinnati is going to be shocked in the NCAAs because it starves for points. UConn is very good and can make a run into the second weekend. Louisville is a Final Four team.

"We're going to go deep in this tournament," Ollie said.

How deep will determine the length of my walk.

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