Know Your Opponent- Louisville

The University of Cincinnati men's basketball team will face a familiar opponent Saturday afternoon in the University of Louisville Cardinals. The Bearcats and Cards have faced each other 90 times in this rivalry that dates back to 1921, but nearly half the members of this year's young UC team have yet to play UL. Here's what they – and you – need to know about Rick Pitino's Louisville Cards.

The Cardinals (19-5, 10-2 in the Big East) still have a Wednesday night match up at home against Providence (16-9, 8-5 in the Big East) to take care of before they make the short trip north up I-71 Saturday to face Cincinnati (17-9, 7-6 in the Big East). Louisville began conference play by stringing together eight straight wins, including a victory at home against then number one-ranked Pittsburgh on Jan. 17th.

Just over two weeks later the Cards welcomed another number one-ranked team into Freedom Hall on Feb. 2nd. This time facing the UConn Huskies, UL wouldn't be so lucky as the Huskies left town with a 17-point victory.

Louisville rebounded with a win at St. John's on the 8th, but then suffered their worst loss of the season the 12th in a 90-57 blowout at the hands of Notre Dame in South Bend, ending the Irish's seven-game losing streak. A win Wednesday against the Friars of Providence would give the Cardinals their first set of consecutive wins this month.

Junior guard Earl Clark leads coach Pitino's Cardinals this season with 12.9 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. Freshman forward Samardo Samuels has helped to fill the gap left by the departed David Padgett, scoring 12.2 points a game and bringing down five rebounds. Terrence Williams brings senior leadership to the forward position, as he rounds out the UL balanced scoring attack, averaging 12.1 points per contest while bringing down 8.5 rebounds and dishing out a team-high 4.6 assists per game.

Louisville has a dangerous group of role player as well, led by junior guards Jerry Smith and Edgar Sosa. Preston Knowles, a sophomore guard averaging just over six points per game, came off the bench to score a game-high 19 points against DePaul Sunday.

Matching up against the Cardinal's big three will be of key importance for the Bearcats Saturday. Head coach Mick Cronin will have had a full week to work with his team before taking the floor for the latest installment in this rivalry. Tip off is set for 2 p.m.


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