No. 1 Louisville prepares for No. 6 Syracuse

GARY GRAVES AP Sports Writer Published:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Louisville's No. 1 concern heading into its showdown with Syracuse is attacking the Orangemen's signature 2-3 zone defense.

How well the top-ranked Cardinals can penetrate and create easy scoring opportunities will determine who takes control of the Big East.

Louisville coach Rick Pitino says No. 6 Syracuse presents a different challenge because of its effectiveness in limiting opponents' shooting and passing options.

Then again, Louisville (16-1, 4-0 Big East) also presents defensive problems for Syracuse (16-1, 4-0). With their man-to-man defensive pressure, the Cardinals rank in the top three nationally in several categories, including turnover margin and steals.

But ending a two-game losing streak to Syracuse and retaining the school's second-ever No. 1 ranking depends on Louisville's ability to penetrate the Orangemen's zone.