Louisville excited for chance to play at Madison Square Garden

samdraut

Louisville men’s basketball appreciates the chance to play in Madison Square Garden. The Cardinals play Texas Tech in the Jimmy V Classic in Manhattan Dec. 10 at 7 p.m.

The top-ranked Cardinals remained undefeated with victories over fourth-ranked Michigan and Pitt last week, but now turn their attention to an arena called the “Mecca of Basketball.”

“I’m excited, it’s not my first time playing there,” senior Ryan McMahon said. “Right when you walk into the arena there is a different atmosphere. You can tell the history and everything that has gone down there. It’s a special place.”

Louisville coach Chris Mack talked to his team after its 64-46 victory over Pitt Dec. 6 about playing at Madison Square Garden. Mack believes it will be a great experience for his players.

“The stage-lighting, the history of the building,” Mack said. “When you walk in the bowels of the building and they have posters of Michael Jackson autographed by him, the Rolling Stones, not to mention the basketball that has been played there.”

Texas Tech started the season 5-0, but has lost three straight games. The Red Raiders last two losses have come in overtime to Creighton and DePaul.

Texas Tech coach Chris Beard, who reached the Final Four last season with the Red Raiders, and Mack exchanged texts Friday. Mack joked that the Red Raider coach was trying to butter him up.

“You don’t do what he’s done, and what their program has done, if you’re not an incredibly well-coached program,” Mack said. “We have a lot of respect, we know they’ve lost three in a row, but they’re going to defend better than any team we’ve played thus far and we’re going to be ready.”

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