Louisville releases full 2011-2012 basketball schedule

Here's a portion of the release:

Nineteen of the Cardinals' 31 games will be played against teams that participated in post-season competition last season, including 16 in the NCAA Tournament (NCAA Tournament: Butler, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Georgetown, Kentucky, Marquette, Memphis, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh twice, St. John's, Syracuse twice, Vanderbilt, Villanova, West Virginia; NIT: Long Beach State, College of Charleston; CollegeInsider.com Tournament: Ohio).

As it did last season, U of L will face three of the teams that participated in the 2011 NCAA Final Four: NCAA champion Connecticut, national runner-up Butler, and Kentucky. Three non-conference foes - Memphis, Kentucky and Vanderbilt - are among the nation's top 10 teams in early preseason rankings. Louisville's opponents collectively won an average of over 20 games (561-380 combined record, .596 winning percentage).

"This will be one of the more difficult schedules we have faced at Louisville," said U of L coach Rick Pitino, whose team played the nation's 11th-toughest schedule according to the ratings percentage index (RPI) last season. "We look forward to the challenge. The BIG EAST schedule is always going to be difficult for everyone in our league, and this year in particular it's going to be very tough for us."

And here's the full schedule:

Date Opponent / Event Location Time / Result
10/26/11 vs. PIKEVILLE * KFC YUM! CENTER 7:00 p.m. ET
11/03/11 vs. BELLARMINE * KFC YUM! CENTER 7:00 p.m. ET
GLOBAL SPORTS INVITATIONAL
11/11/11 vs. TENNESSEE-MARTIN KFC YUM! CENTER TBA
11/13/11 vs. LAMAR KFC YUM! CENTER TBA
11/22/11 vs. ARKANSAS STATE KFC YUM! CENTER TBA
11/25/11 vs. OHIO KFC YUM! CENTER TBA
11/28/11 vs. LONG BEACH STATE KFC YUM! CENTER TBA
11/19/11 at Butler Indianapolis, Ind. TBA
BIG EAST / SEC CHALLENGE
12/02/11 vs. VANDERBILT TV KFC YUM! CENTER 8:30 p.m. ET
12/07/11 vs. IUPUI KFC YUM! CENTER TBA
12/10/11 vs. FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON KFC YUM! CENTER TBA
BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME SHOOTOUT
12/17/11 vs. MEMPHIS TV KFC YUM! CENTER 4:00 p.m. ET
12/20/11 vs. COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON KFC YUM! CENTER TBA
BILLY MINARDI CLASSIC
12/23/11 vs. WESTERN KENTUCKY KFC YUM! CENTER 7:00 p.m. ET
12/28/11 vs. GEORGETOWN # TV KFC YUM! CENTER 7:00 p.m. ET
12/31/11 at Kentucky TV Lexington, Ky. 12:00 p.m. ET
01/03/12 at St. John's # TV New York, N.Y. 7:00 p.m. ET
01/07/12 vs. NOTRE DAME # TV KFC YUM! CENTER 4:00 p.m. ET
01/10/12 at Providence # TV Providence, R.I. 7:00 p.m. ET
01/14/12 vs. DE PAUL # KFC YUM! CENTER TBA
01/16/12 at Marquette # TV Milwaukee, Wis. TBA
01/21/12 at Pittsburgh # TV Pittsburgh, Pa. 9:00 p.m. ET
01/25/12 vs. VILLANOVA # TV KFC YUM! CENTER 7:00 p.m. ET
01/28/12 at Seton Hall # Newark, N.J. TBA
02/04/12 vs. RUTGERS # KFC YUM! CENTER TBA
02/06/12 vs. CONNECTICUT # TV KFC YUM! CENTER 7:00 p.m. ET
02/11/12 at West Virginia # TV Morgantown, W.Va. 12:00 p.m. ET
02/13/12 vs. SYRACUSE # TV KFC YUM! CENTER 7:00 p.m. ET
02/18/12 at DePaul # Chicago, Ill. TBA
02/23/12 at Cincinnati # TV Cincinnati, Ohio 9:00 p.m. ET
02/26/12 vs. PITTSBURGH # TV KFC YUM! CENTER 2:00 p.m. ET
02/29/12 vs. USF # KFC YUM! CENTER TBA
03/03/12 at Syracuse # TV Syracuse, N.Y. 4:00 p.m. ET
BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP
03/06/12 TBD New York, N.Y. TBA
03/07/12 TBD New York, N.Y. TBA
03/08/12 TBD New York, N.Y. TBA
03/09/12 TBD New York, N.Y. TBA
03/10/12 TBD New York, N.Y. TBA

The Jan. 16 game at Marquette and the Feb. 6 and Feb. 13 home games against Connecticut and Syracuse are ESPN "Big Monday" games.

Other thoughts:

--Very interesting to see us opening Big East play (against Georgetown) before New Year's and three days before the Kentucky game. I don't think that's happened since we joined the league. Will be sort of a weird vibe since the game before UK is almost always a "don't look ahead" deal.

--New Year's Eve game against UK will once again tip at noon...will once again be an insanely long day.

--DePaul Days: Jan. 14 (home) and Feb. 18 (road).

--The league generally tries to pit the two preseason favorites against one another on the last Saturday of the regular season, so it's not especially surprising, I suppose, that we'll end the year at Syracuse.

--Former Cards Chris Brickley and David Padgett are assistants at Fairleigh Dickinson and IUPUI, respectively. Both are on the home schedule.

-"The Bill" is the game vs. Western this year on Christmas Eve Eve. Again, great holiday fun.

--Sweet Jesus this schedule is pretty awesome.

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