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Big East men’s basketball notebook

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If there were any doubts as to whether Louisville was back to being a force in the Big East, they were surely silenced in the Cardinal's 59-51 victory Saturday over No. 6 Georgetown.

Led by 18 points from senior David Padgett and 16 points from sophomore Jerry Smith, the Cardinals erased a first half deficit and outscored the Hoyas by 16 points in the second half to win their eighth conference game of the season, moving them into third place in the Big East.

The return of Padgett, who missed ten games between November and December with knee fracture, has contributed to Louisville's resurgence.

Since his return on Jan. 1, Louisville has gone 9-3, with eight of those wins coming against Big East opponents.

Padgett isn't by any means the Cardinals' most dominant scorer. His average of 10.6 points per game ranks fourth on the team, but he is recognized as one of Louisville's team leaders.

The Cardinals are currently riding a three-game win streak with victories also coming against Rutgers at home and No. 16 Marquette on the road.

Up-and-down Panthers

The roller-coaster season for Pittsburgh hit another high-point Saturday night as the Panthers defeated West Virginia 55-54, courtesy of Ronald Ramon's game-winning three-point basket at the buzzer. Roman's clutch basket likely kept Pittsburgh from dropping out of the Top 25.

The win was just No. 21 Pittsburgh's third in six games. The Panthers have suffered Big East losses to Cincinnati, Rutgers and Connecticut over the last month.

Things don't get any easier for Pittsburgh from here as they will play both Marquette and No. 20 Notre Dame on the road, along with No. 23 Louisville at home in the coming weeks.

Yo, Adrien

Connecticut forward Jeff Adrien was named Big East Player of the Week after averaging 21.0 points and 11.5 rebounds per game in two wins last week for the Huskies.

Adrien shot a combined 60 percent (15-of-25) from the field in wins over Syracuse and Georgia Tech. The Huskies have won seven-straight games.

On the season, Adrien is averaging 14.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.

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