Louisville, UConn both need a win

Louisville (13-8, 4-4) and UConn (13-8, 3-5) both desperately need a win Monday night. The Cards and Huskies are both in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament and must start producing wins beginning tonight.

After heartbreaking losses over the weekend, Louisville and Connecticut are desperate for victories and ready to get back on the court.

The Cardinals host the No. 19 Huskies on Monday night in a matchup of two of the biggest disappointments in the Big East this season.

Both teams were ranked in the preseason with Louisville (13-8, 4-4) at No. 19 and Connecticut (13-8, 3-5) getting a healthy Jerome Dyson back and beginning the season at No. 12. The Cardinals, though, have since dropped out and the Huskies are almost certain to after losing twice this week.

With the way the teams are playing, their NCAA tournament hopes may also be in jeopardy. Louisville is 0-4 against Top 25 opponents while Connecticut is 0-4 on the road.

The Huskies continue to play without coach Jim Calhoun, who has missed four consecutive games on medical leave. They are 2-2 with associate coach George Blaney in charge, and Calhoun is expected to miss Monday's contest.

UConn trailed for most of the game in a 70-68 home loss to Marquette on Saturday. Dyson scored 18 points and Kemba Walker added 15 for the Huskies, who rallied from an early double-digit deficit before falling.

"It's been the story the whole season, where everybody doesn't come out to play at the start of the game," Dyson said. "We always get ourselves in a hole and then we have to play the rest of the game trying to get out of it."

Gavin Edwards had 14 rebounds as UConn dominated 44-25 on the glass, but the Huskies forced only three turnovers.

"I'm ready to play another game," Edwards said. "I want to get this taste out of my mouth as quick as possible."

Louisville is probably also ready to get back in action after blowing a 12-point lead with 10 minutes left in a 77-74 defeat at No. 9 West Virginia on Saturday. The Cardinals felt that two calls down the stretch in which possession went to the Mountaineers should have gone the other way.

"I'm tired of the officiating," an irate coach Rick Pitino said. "That's why I'm not speaking. I'm tired of the officiating."

Louisville has dropped four of five, its last three losses coming by a combined 11 points.

"You don't shoot (52) percent and play as hard as that and expect those situations, so I've had it with the officiating," Pitino said. "So I'm not going to say anymore. I've had it."

Samardo Samuels and Reginald Delk each scored 16 points for Louisville, which had three baskets over the final 10 minutes. Edgar Sosa matched a season low with six points.

Monday's contest features the matchup at point guard between Sosa and Walker, who both starred at Rice High School in New York. Walker was a reserve last season when the Huskies won 68-51 at Freedom Hall in the teams' lone meeting.

UConn has taken four of six Big East matchups with Louisville.

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