Preview: Louisville - Pittsburgh



Date: Jan. 2, 2018
Time: 9:05 p.m. EST
Site: KFC Yum! Center/Crum Court, Louisville, Ky. (22,000) (124-16 in 8th year)
Television: ESPNU - Kevin Fitzgerald, play-by-play; Dino Gaudio, analyst.
Radio: WHAS (840 AM) Paul Rogers, play-by-play; Bob Valvano, analyst (Sirius channel 81, XM 81, Internet 81)
Series History: UofL leads 14-5 (8-1 in Louisville, 6-1 in Pittsburgh, 0-3 neutral)
Last Meeting: UofL 106, Pittsburgh 51 (Jan. 24, 2017 at Pittsburgh, Pa.)
UofL National Ranking: unranked (receiving votes in the USA Today & AP polls)
Officials: Bill Covington, Jr., Jeff Clark, Michael Stephens
Next UofL Game: Jan. 6 at Clemson, Clemson, S.C., Noon ET (ACC Network/ WAVE-TV in Louisville)

Louisville will play its first ACC game of the season as the Cardinals face the Pittsburgh Panthers in the KFC Yum! Center on Tuesday. Louisville (10-3) lost for the first time in seven games as the Cardinals fell 90-61 at Kentucky last Friday in their final non-conference game of the year. Ray Spalding produced his sixth double-double this season and eighth of his career with 12 points and 11 rebounds against the Wildcats. UofL suffered through its second-worst shooting performance from the field (.348) and worst from three-point range (3-of-25, .120).

Deng Adel leads the Cardinals in scoring with 15.4 points per game. Quentin Snider ranks second on the team, averaging 11.8 points per game while dishing out a team best 51 assists. Spalding leads the team on the boards with 9.7 rebounds per game and ranks third on the team in scoring with 10.8 points per game. Sophomore V.J. King leads the team from behind the arc, shooting 41.9 percent on the year.

Pitt (8-6, 0-1 ACC) has won seven of its last nine, but fell to No. 15 Miami 67-53 in its ACC opener on Dec. 30. Shamiel Stevenson scored 16 points off the bench to lead the Panthers, who committed 19 turnovers and allowed 40 points in the paint.

Pitt is one of the Cardinals' four ACC repeat opponents this season. The Panthers are No. 159 in the Sagarin Ratings, No. 170 by Ken Pomeroy, and No. 150 in the RPI through Dec. 30.

Louisville has a 14-5 series advantage over Pittsburgh and the Cardinals have won the last 10 matchups. It is UofL's second-longest current winning streak against an ACC opponent, as the Cardinals have won their last 12 against Virginia Tech. UofL won both games last season. Louisville prevailed 85-80 in Louisville (1-11-17) as Quentin Snider led the Cardinals with 22 points and five assists and Pitt's Jamel Artis poured in a KFC Yum! Center record 43 points.

UofL posted the largest margin of victory for a road team in ACC history and the third-largest margin for any league game in their 106-51 victory at Pittsburgh (1-24-17). Donovan Mitchell's career-high 29 points led the Cardinals in the last meeting which was Pitt's second-worst loss ever and its worst since 1906.

Louisville has won its conference opening game in seven of the last nine seasons.

The Cardinals have won four of their last five conference home openers.

Louisville is second in the nation in blocked shots (8.2 bpg) and ranks 21st in field goal percentage defense (.384) and 38th in free throw percentage (,755). Center

Anas Mahmoud is third in the nation in blocked shots (4.08).
Louisville has won seven of its last nine games in its first game of a new calendar year.

Quentin Snider has averaged a team-high 14.7 points, made 12-of-24 three-pointers and handed out 27 assists with just seven turnovers over the last seven games. The Most Outstanding Player of the Gotham Classic, Snider needs 62 points to become the Cardinals' 68th career 1,000-point scorer.

Louisville has a 37-8 record in its conference home games over the last six years (.822), including an 8-1 record last year.

Louisville is one of just four schools which have won 20 or more games in each of the last 15 seasons (also Kansas, Duke and Gonzaga).

Louisville has a 39-17 record during the month of January over the last eight years, including a 23-8 record in the last five years.

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