Huffpost Sports
Jordan Schultz Headshot

Louisville's Russ Smith vs. Wichita State's Malcolm Armstead Among Key Final Four Matchups

Posted: Updated:
GREGG MARSHALL RUSS SMITH
Shockers head coach Gregg Marshall has his hands full trying to minimize the effect that Russ Smith will have on the game. | Getty Images

A No. 9 seed in the Final Four against the tournament's top overall seed sounds like a done deal. But you can throw expectations out the window because seeding doesn't matter at this point in the tournament, especially in the modern era.

Saturday's showdown between Louisville and Wichita State features great matchups of guard play and overall scheme.

Malcolm Armstead vs. Russ Smith

Armstead is likely to see both Smith and Peyton Siva, but Smith is Louisville head coach Rick Pitino's quickest and best perimeter defender. Armstead, despite averaging just 10 points per game this season, has emerged as one of Wichita's go-to guys in this tournament. The thing about Smith, though, is that he has extremely active and disruptive hands and seemingly never tires.

Wichita's Man-to-Man vs. Louisville Offense

Louisville's entire offensive attack is predicated on doing just that: attacking. The Shockers on the other hand are a dominant man-to-man defense, holding opponents to a mere 34 percent shooting from the floor in the tournament. Smith and Siva love to get in the paint both off of pick-and-roll and isolation. Coach Gregg Marshall's club would prefer not to let that happen but also not leave open shooters like deadeye Luke Hancock. So far in March, it hasn't had to.

Email me at jordan.schultz@huffingtonpost.com or ask me questions about anything sports-related at @Schultz_Report.

Around the Web

2013 Final Four: The 5 things that will decide Louisville-Wichita State

VIDEO: Gottlieb takes closer look at Louisville vs. Wichita State

Louisville vs. Wichita State: Game Time, TV Schedule, Spread Info and Prediction

Louisville's Blueprint to Beat Wichita State in 2013 Final Four

Louisville's Pitino impressed with Wichita State's defense

Louisville vs. Wichita State preview: Game time, TV schedule and odds

Louisville Favored in Final Four, but Wichita State Could Become Unlikeliest ...

Wichita State vs. Louisville: How the Shockers Can Knock off the Cardinals

Top seed Louisville to face Cinderella team Wichita State

Tim Sullivan | Ware's loss could be Wichita State's gain against ...

At The Watercooler: Louisville-Wichita State - Men's College ...

2013 NCAA Tournament Final Four Breakdown: Louisville-Wichita ...

Final Four breakdown: Reasons why each team could win

 
From Our Partners