Russ Smith

Wednesday’s Pregame Shootaround: Louisville-SMU square off in an AAC battle


GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 11 Louisville at No. 18 SMU, 7:00 p.m.

Two Hall of Fame head coaches square off on Wednesday night at SMU in a key AAC battle between two top 20 teams. (Imagine the look you’d give me if I said that sentence two years ago.) The Cardinals look like a team that could string together six straight wins in the NCAA tournament, but right now, they are destined for a seed that may make it difficult to pull off a third straight Final Four. SMU is as tough as anyone in the country in Moody Coliseum, however. Nic Moore vs. Russ Smith and Montrezl Harrell vs. Markus Kennedy will be fun.

THE OTHER GAME OF THE NIGHT: St. Joseph’s at George Washington, 9:00 p.m.

George Washington is in the tournament, and fairly comfortably right now. St. Joe’s, on the other hand, is in need of a couple of wins to get them onto the right side of the bubble. Losing at GW would certainly not be a bad loss for the Hawks, but that is a win that would definitely help them climb the ladder.

WHO’S GETTING UPSET?: No. 11 San Diego State at UNLV, 11:00 p.m.

SDSU has been struggling to score the ball in the half court of late, and UNLV has the kind of athletes that can matchup with the Aztecs. A loss, and a New Mexico win over Air Force, would put the Lobos in first place in the MWC.


1) Dayton will have a chance to lock up an NCAA tournament bid at No. 17 Saint Louis, who has lost three games in a row.

2) Some key bubble matchups in the Pac-12, as Utah visits Cal (11:00 p.m.) and Colorado makes a trip to Stanford (9:00 p.m.).

3) All three of the SEC’s bubble teams will be in action. Tennessee visits Auburn, Missouri hosts Texas A&M and Arkansas will get a visit from Ole Miss.

4) Two top five teams head on the road tonight. No. 3 Arizona will visit Oregon State and No. 4 Duke will head down to Wake Forest.

5) Four conference tournaments will happen tonight. The Big South first round kicks off at noon, while the OVC first round, the NEC quarters and the Patriot League quarters all take place tonight as well.


  • Texas Tech at No. 8 Kansas, 8:00 p.m.
  • Purdue at No. 9 Wisconsin, 9:00 p.m.
  • Rutgers at No. 19 UConn, 7:00 p.m.
  • Air Force at No. 21 Air Force, 9:00 p.m.
  • West Virginia at No. 23 Oklahoma, 9:00 p.m.
  • TCU at Texas, 8:00 p.m.
  • UMass at Duquesne, 7:00 p.m.
  • Nebraska at Indiana, 7:00 p.m.

Louisville’s Rick Pitino on allegations: ‘We will get through this’

Rick Pitino
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Louisville coach Rick Pitino remains defiant that his program will survive the allegations in a book by an escort alleging that former Cardinals staffer Andre McGee hired her and other dancers to strip and have sex with recruits and players.

Pitino said Tuesday that the Cardinals “will get through this the right way.”

The coach told a packed room at a tipoff luncheon that he understands the motivation behind Katina Powell’s book “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” but questions the need for the alleged activities given the talent his program has produced.

Pitino added, “We will find out the truth, whatever it may be, and those responsible will pay the price.”

Georgia Tech lands Class of 2016 guard

Brian Gregory
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Georgia Tech picked up its third Class of 2016 commitment on Tuesday as the Yellow Jackets landed a pledged from three-star guard Josh Okogie.

The 6-foot-4 guard is considered the No. 143 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016 rankings and Okogie played with a very talented Team CP3 in the Nike EYBL. In 22 games this spring and summer, Okogie averaged 10.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 45 percent from the field.

Okogie joins three-star wing Christian Matthews and four-star big man Romello White in head coach Brian Gregory’s Class of 2016 at Georgia Tech. The group is definitely a solid influx of talent with some coming from successful grassroots programs.