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How Realistic Is Rick Pitino's Goal Of Winning Out?

Six to go...

Rick Pitino said before the St. John's game that his goal was to win the remaining seven regular season games. With one down, how realistic are the next six?

Six to go: USF

Looks good (for U of L): In its last game against Providence, USF was up by double digits at the half, then let a 23-2 run happen. Trouble finishing? Louisville feels that, Bulls.

Looks bad (for U of L): In defense to the above, Providence is playing pretty great basketball right now. USF also may have had an ugly second half to the game, but started off the game by making 9 of the first 12 shots. That kind of shooting could show up Sunday, and could stick this time. Also, Louisville does this really cute thing where it lets USF hang around and sometimes win games it shouldn’t have a chance to. It’s actually not all that cute.

Looks ugly (for USF): USF is 1-11 in Big East play. I’m guessing Pitino’s goal will advance to the next round.

Five to go: Seton Hall

Looks good (for U of L): It’s a home game, for starters. Seton Hall has lost seven in a row, including last night's home game against Syracuse.

Looks bad (for U of L): The Pirates have three guys averaging double digits and five guys making 70% or higher of their free throws. Teams that can make free throws are a sensitive subject for the Cardinals.

Looks ugly (for Seton Hall): Three starters (Edwin, Oliver and Mobley) are suffering from injuries. I’d say Louisville blows them out of the water. Or the hall. Whatever.

Four to go: DePaul

Looks good (for U of L): Ah, DePaul. 2-10 in Big East play. The Blue Demons have lost nine of their last ten. The win came yesterday, against Rutgers, at home.

Looks bad (for U of L): Worrel Clahar. Today marked only his eighth start of his career at DePaul, but against Rutgers, he had 19 points, making the lay-up that tied the game towards the end. He also was put on Rutgers' Myles Mack after Mack scored 14 points in a row (he finished with 28) and played really great defense on him, turning him over in crunch time and holding his offense enough to beat Rutgers.

Looks ugly (for DePaul): Clahar won’t get those shots against a defense like Louisville's. I think U of L cooks onto the next one.

Three to go: Syracuse

Looks good (for U of L): Three of the Orange’s past six have been losses (Villanova, Pitt and most recently, UConn).

Looks bad (for U of L): It’s in New York, Southerland is back, and Triche couldn’t miss last time the two teams played.

Looks ugly (for Syracuse): Also during the last time they played, Carter-Williams could finish and U of L couldn’t. It hurt Siva’s confidence; it hurt the whole team, and revenge is on their minds. I’d bet the thought of revenge can go a long way, like, oh I don’t know… 676.1 miles.

Two to go: Cincinnati

Looks good (for U of L): Home games are always good. Rivalries are good, too. If there’s some way that we can recreate football season and get their point guard to say he’s better than Siva, then that would just be magical. Cincinnati also plays a reckless offensive style, but doesn't have a Yancy Gates-type presence to run it this year.

Looks bad (for U of L): Cincinnati lost to Syracuse in New York earlier in the season by only three. The team can play away. Their overall record is 19-7, but the greatest loss margin has been 10. The first two losses were by a point. They weren’t quality wins for the other teams, and Cincy doesn’t give the win easily, either.

Looks ugly (for Cincinnati): Cincinnati has had injury problems early in February, and a tough schedule ahead of them to be playing with a hurt squad. They play UConn twice and ND before coming to the KFC Yum! Center. I think they’ll only get more beat up, and U of L will hand them a beat down.

One to go: Notre Dame

Looks good (for U of L): Yesterday's Providence game, for starters. Also see: home court advantage, revenge, blah blah blah. Fans from both sides are salivating at the mouth thinking about this rematch.

Looks bad (for U of L): Notre Dame plays a slow pace that makes forcing turnovers really, really difficult. Also, it appears that random Fighting Irish players like to make unusually clutch shots. Especially three's. Sigh.

Looks ugly (for ND): Call me biased, but I'm taking Louisville. It’s a home game that will have a crazy crowd, and all of the team was hurt after that loss. Plus, coming off this imaginary six game winning streak wouldn’t hurt, either.

6 games of basketball to play; 6 games of basketball to play. U of L took a team down, after passing the ball around... 6 games of basketball to play.

I’ll stick to blogging.