IUPUI (2-7) at (5) Louisville (7-0)
Wednesday, December 7th, 7:00 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Pat Taggart, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: KFC Yum! Center (22,000) -- Louisville, Kentucky. Television: WHAS. Home Record: IUPUI 2-3, Louisville 6-0. Away Record: IUPUI 0-4, Louisville 1-0. Neutral Record: IUPUI 0-0, Louisville 0-0. Conference Record: IUPUI 0-2, Louisville 0-0. Series Record: Louisville leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: Fresh off a thrilling victory, the fifth-ranked Louisville Cardinals have an outstanding chance to add another win to their unblemished record when they play host to the IUPUI Jaguars this evening.
IUPUI enters with a three-game skid that has dropped the team to 2-7 overall. On Saturday, the squad fell to North Dakota State by an 84-79 final, and tonight's opponent is obviously far more formidable. The Jaguars have battled one other major conference opponent to date, as they fell to Georgetown by 23 points.
Last Friday, Louisville was pushed to overtime by a talented Vanderbilt club, but the crowd at the KFC Yum! Center was sent away happy after the home team squeaked out a 62-60 victory. The Cardinals are now 7-0 overall this season and most of the wins have been blowouts. Rick Pitino's group continues to prepare for what promises to be a brutal Big East Conference slate.
Louisville won its only previous meeting with IUPUI by a final of 80-60 back in 2004.
On Saturday, IUPUI fell to 0-2 in Summit League action with a five-point loss to North Dakota State. Alex Young was able to score 20 points in that setback for the Jaguars, but he shot a lackluster 6-of-17 from the floor, including 0- of-6 from three-point range. The team made good on just 35.5 percent of its field goal attempts overall, including a 5-of-24 showing from behind the arc. Sean Esposito was the club's only other double-digit scorer in that affair with 14 points off the bench. IUPUI did force 21 turnovers in that tilt but permitted North Dakota State to shoot 62.2 percent from the field. Young has been the leading scorer for the Jags in the last four outings and is netting 18.7 ppg this season despite 37.9 percent field goal efficiency. He is also ripping down 6.7 rpg for a team that is scoring 72.2 ppg overall, slightly less than the 73.0 ppg that it is surrendering.
Kyle Kuric leads Louisville with 12.4 ppg this season, while Chane Behanan (10.4 ppg) and Peyton Siva (10.0 ppg) round out a trio of double-digit scorers. The Cardinals are generating 67.7 ppg while limiting opponents to 50.9 ppg on 34.2 percent shooting from the floor. Strong rebounding has been key to their success, as they are ripping down 6.4 rpg more than their foes. Kuric turned the ball over seven times against Vanderbilt on Friday, but he did manage to score 15 points for Louisville in the win. Behanan and Siva both netted 14 points in that affair, and Behanan ripped down 10 boards as well. The Cardinals shot just 5-of-20 from behind the arc and were outscored 14-7 from the foul line, but the fact that they forced 18 turnovers certainly helped the cause.
Louisville is clearly superior to IUPUI and will win easily tonight. The Jaguars will be fortunate to reach the 50-point plateau.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Louisville 83, IUPUI 50
12/07 10:38:38 ET