MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Rutgers (12-20), the No. 7 seed, plays No. 2 seed and 2013-14 AAC Co-Champion Louisville (26-5), ranked fifth nationally, in a 2 p.m. local (3 p.m. ET) approximate tip-off in the American Athletic Conference Championship quarterfinals on Thursday (March 13). The winner will advance to meet the winner of No. 3 seed SMU versus No. 6 seed Houston at 6 p.m. local (7 p.m. ET) on Friday in the semifinals.
RU’s last victory over a ranked opponent was a 67-62 win over No. 24 Pittsburgh on Jan. 5, 2013, while the last victory over a ranked foe away from the RAC was a 77-64 win at No. 13 Pitt on Jan. 26, 2008.The highest ranked team that Rutgers has defeated in its history was No. 6 West Virginia by a 74-64 score on Feb. 27, 1982.
Thursday’s game will be televised live nationally in high definition on ESPNU with Mike Patrick calling the action, Tim Welsh providing the analysis and Andy Katz offering courtside reports. On the radio, all RU tournament match-ups will be broadcast live on the Rutgers IMG Sports Network, WOR 710 AM in New York and WCTC 1450 Am in New Brunswick. Chris Carlin will serve as play-by-play announcer and Dick Lloyd will provide commentary. On satellite radio, all Championship games will air on Sirius channel 92/XM channel 192.
Rutgers and Louisville have met 15 times, with the Cardinals holding a 13-1 advantage in victories, including both regular season contests this season. RU last defeated then No. 22 Louisville 65-56 at the RAC on Jan. 28, 2006. As a player at Rutgers, Eddie Jordan faced Louisville twice, dropping both decisions. As a sophomore, Jordan had 19 points in a 91-78 loss to the No. 3-ranked Cardinals in the NCAA Tournament in Tulsa, Okla. As a senior, Jordan scored 17 points in a 76-68 loss to No. 13 UofL in the Louisville Classic.
Jordan and Louisville head coach Rick Pitino faced-off twice as NBA head coaches in 1997-98, when Jordan was mentoring the Sacramento Kings and Pitino was leading the Boston Celtics. The teams split the series 1-1 that season, with each team winning at home.
Rutgers defeated No. 10 seed USF 72-68 in the opening round Wednesday evening. Four players scored in double figures for an RU team that out-rebounded the Bulls, 34 to 31, while also making 80 percent (24-of-30) of its free throws. Junior forward Kadeem Jack (Queens, N.Y.) totaled a team-high 18 points, including 14 in the second half, on 5-of-7 shooting. Senior forward Wally Judge (Washington, D.C.) tallied his fourth double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Junior guard Myles Mack (Paterson, N.J.) and senior guard J.J. Moore (Brentwood, N.Y.) also scored in double figures with 16 and 13 points, respectively.
It marked Rutgers’ third victory over USF this season. The prior two times the Scarlet Knights defeated an opponent three times in one season, Jordan was on staff. In 1988-89, RU completed the trifecta versus St. Bonaventure when Jordan was an assistant under Bob Wenzel. In 1984-85, the Scarlet Knights downed Duquesne three times when Jordan was a volunteer assistant under Tom Young.