Cards hope to sweep Bearcats on road

Louisville (15-7, 3-6) hopes to sweep its season series with Cincinnati (15-8, 4-5) tonight at Fifth Third Bank Arena. The Cardinals defeated the Bearcats 67-50 two weeks ago after forcing 25 Bearcat turnovers.

Louisville (15-7, 3-6) looks to sweep its season series against rival Cincinnati (15-8, 4-5) tonight at Fifth Third Bank Arena for the second year in a row.

The Cardinals are coming off a dramatic 89-86 overtime win over Notre Dame Saturday. Taquan Dean's 3 with :02 remaining in regulation sent the game into the extra period. The win helped the Cardinals improve its league record to 3-6.

The Bearcats dropped a 66-57 decision to No. 11 West Virginia Saturday in Morgantown. UC forward Eric Hicks led the Bearcats with 22 points and 11 rebounds.

After Saturday's win over the Irish, Louisville coach Rick Pitino sounded pleased with the way his team has performed recently.

"We're playing terrific basketball right now," Pitino said. "The competition is so (great). It's unbelievable. I've never seen the Big East like this. It's always been great, but it's never been like this. It's truly unbelievable."

Tonight's game is critical for both team's post-season hopes. Louisville has lost five of its last seven games, while Cincinnati has dropped six of their last eight games since forward Armein Kirkland season-ending knee injury.

Two weeks ago, Louisville bested Cincinnati 67-50 in Freedom Hall. The Cardinals changed their defense frequently throughout that game and forced the Bearcats into 25 turnovers. Juan Palacios had 19 points and 12 rebounds, and the Cardinals pulled away in the second half despite shooting just 37 percent from the floor. The Bearcats cut the Cardinals 14 point halftime lead to 7 five minutes into the second half, but a 16-1 run ended Cincinnati's comeback hopes.

Monday's game will be the 88th meeting between Cincinnati and Louisville. The Cardinals lead the all-time series, 50-37. Cincinnati has won 12 of the last 19 contests but Louisville has won the last three clashes, including a 69-66 win last season in Cincinnati when the Cardinals overcame a 17 point first half deficit.

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