Round Two: No. 16 Louisville vs. No. 12 UConn

After a disappointing road loss at Cincinnati Wednesday night, No. 16 Louisville (19-7, 8-5) faces No. 12 UConn Friday night at the KFC Yum! Center in a rematch of last month's double overtime, 79-78, thriller.

There's always another game in the Big East - usually a big one.

After a disappointing road loss at Cincinnati Wednesday night, Louisville faces No. 12 UConn Friday night at the KFC Yum! Center in a rematch of last month's double overtime, 79-78, thriller. Peyton Siva was the hero in that one for the Cardinals, delivering big basket after big basket down the stretch.

Both teams, facing quick turnarounds from games Wednesday night, will be looking to keep pace in the Big East with a win tonight. Louisville and UConn are currently in a four-way tie for fourth place with Villanova and St. John's. Georgetown also has five league losses. The top four teams in the Big East standings receive a double-bye in next month's Big East Championship in Madison Square Garden.

About Connecticut

No. 16 Louisville (19-7, 8-5) vs.
No. 12 UConn (20-5, 8-5)

Date: Friday, Feb. 18; 9:00
Where: KFC Yum! Center/Crum Court, Louisville, Ky. (22,000)
TV: ESPN will televise the game, with Brent Musberger (play-by-play) and Bob Knight (color) calling the action.
Radio: WHAS (840 AM) will broadcast the game on radio, with Paul Rogers (play-by-play) and Doug Ormay (color) calling the action.
Next UofL Game: Tuesday, Feb. 22 at Rutgers, Piscataway, N.J., 9 p.m. ET (ESPNU)


Storyline: Louisville, playing without Gorgui Dieng and Rakeem Buckles, beat UConn last month in double overtime on the road. Now, after a disappointing loss at Cincinnati Wednesday, the Cardinals look to sweep the season series against the No. 12 Huskies.
Cardinal Keys: The biggest key for Louisville is slowing high-scoring guard Kemba Walker. The Cardinals did a good job defensively against Walker in the first matchup, so they'll need to keep him in check once again. If Walker goes off like he did against Georgetown Wednesday night, the Huskies are dangerous, as the Hoyas learned in a 78-70 loss. Offensively, Louisville must do a much better job shooting and handling the basketball than they did in a nine-point loss against Cincinnati earlier this week.

UofL will play its second game in three days as the Cardinals return home to the KFC Yum! Center to face Connecticut for the second time this season on Friday. UConn (20-5, 8-5), ranked 13th by AP and 12th by ESPN/USA Today, has won three of its last four, including a 78-70 victory over No. 9/9 Georgetown in Hartford, Conn. in its last game on Feb. 16. Kemba Walker poured in 31 points to lead the Huskies while Jamal Combs-McDaniel added 23 off the bench.

Connecticut leads the BIG EAST and is sixth in the nation in blocked shots (6.4). The Huskies also lead the BIG EAST and are 15th nationally in field goal percentage defense (.392). Junior guard Kemba Walker is second in the BIG EAST and is seventh in the nation in scoring (23.2 ppg).

U of L is tied 5-5 in its series with Connecticut and has the last three, including a 79-78 double-overtime victory in Storrs earlier this season (1-29-11). Connecticut is No. 13 in the Sagarin Ratings and No. 11 in the RPI through Feb. 16.

Series vs. UConn

Louisville is tied 5-5 in its all-time series with Connecticut, but has won five of the past seven meetings.

Last month, Louisville rallied for a 79-78 double overtime victory at No. 5 Connecticut on Jan. 29, recovering from a nine-point deficit in the last seven minutes of regulation. The Cardinals hit 8-of-11 field goals in the two overtime periods, including 4-of-5 three-pointers. Peyton Siva had 19 points, seven assists, four rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots for the Cardinals. Terrence Jennings produced his first career double-double with 16 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots. Shabazz Napier (23 points), Jeremy Lamb (21) and Kemba Walker (20) each scored 20 or more for the Huskies, which shot 37.7 percent from the field.

Last year in Freedom Hall, Edgar Sosa scored 15 points and matched a season-high with eight assists as the Cardinals beat Connecticut 82-69 on Feb. 1, 2010. Louisville led by as many as 19 in the second half, leading 68-49 with 13:29 remaining, and UConn came no closer than eight the rest of the game. U of L hit 10 three-point goals from seven different players in the game. Jerome Dyson scored 18 to lead four Huskies in double figures.

In the first meeting between the two schools, UConn prevailed 83-71 in the third round of the 2000 Maui Invitational (12/22/00).

U of L Coach Rick Pitino has a 9-10 record vs. Connecticut -- 0-6 while at Boston University, 4-0 while at Providence and 5-4 at Louisville. Pitino's teams have a 14-7 record in games against UConn Coach Jim Calhoun -- 6-3 while Pitino was at Boston U and Calhoun was at Northeastern; 1-0 while Pitino was at Providence and Calhoun was at Northeastern; 2-0 when Pitino was in his second year at Providence and Calhoun was in his first year at UConn; and 5-4 at Louisville.

Second Tight Turnaround

U of L plays Connecticut at home on Friday after a quick turnaround from a Wednesday game at Cincinnati. It is the second occasion the Cards will have two games in three days during BIG EAST play this year. U of L earlier faced that scenario with road games at Connecticut and Georgetown on Jan. 29 and 31.

Cards Have Eight Straight 20-Win Seasons

Louisville is one victory away from another 20-win season. Louisville is one of nine Division I schools in the nation which have won 20 or more games in each of the past eight seasons entering this season. Kansas tops the list with 21 consecutive years, followed by Duke (14), Gonzaga (13), Syracuse (13), Florida (12), Texas (11), Utah State (11), Pittsburgh (9) and the Cardinals (8). Coach Pitino has won at least 20 games in a season on 19 occasions, ranking him tied for sixth among active coaches in 20-win seasons. The Cards have won at least 19 games in 37 of the last 41 years.

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