Big East Tournament 2013 Championship: Game preview for Syracuse vs. Louisville

Jim McIsaac

The last Big East Tournament will end on Saturday with a showdown of epic proportions.

On Saturday night, the final edition of the Big East Conference tourney as we know it will commence with the Syracuse Orange and Louisville Cardinals squaring off at Madison Square Garden.

No. 19 Syracuse (26-8, 11-7) is one of the original Big East schools, coached by the great Jim Boeheim. The Orange had lost four of its last five games before the tournament began, but have gotten back on track. Syracuse has beaten Seton Hall, Pittsburgh and Georgetown to get here, showing it is once again a legitimate power.

No. 4 Louisville (28-5, 14-4) of course has Rick Pitino on its sidelines, looking for its second-consecutive Big East championship. The Cardinals have been terrific down the stretch, winners of their last nine including victories over Villanova and Notre Dame in the tourney.

The two teams have played twice, with each winning on the other's home court.

The Orange will look to slow down the guard play of Russ Smith and Peyton Siva, which is one of the better duos in the country. Smith is averaging over 18 points per game to lead Louisville while Siva plays aggressive defense and adds 10 points and over five assists per night.

Syracuse will rely offensively on C.J. Fair and James Southerland, who each average 14 points per game. Michael Carter-Williams is the x-factor, a talented but inconsistent sophomore leading the team in assists with 7.7 a night.

More in College Basketball:

Your Bracketology update

The life and death of Earl Badu

Full coverage of the ACC tournament

Full coverage of the Big East tournament

Full coverage of the Big Ten tournament

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