Louisville - Kentucky Wesleyan Game Preview

USA TODAY Sports

LOUISVILLE CARDINALS VS. KENTUCKY WESLEYAN PANTHERS

Game Time: 7:07 p.m.

Location: KFC Yum Center: Louisville, KY

Television: WHAS-11

Announcers: Drew Deener (play-by-play) and Bob Valvano (analyst)

Series History:

--Louisville holds a 51-18 series advantage over Kentucky Wesleyan since theteams first met in 1919, not including three exhibition victories (2004, 2006, 2010).

--Including the last three exhibition wins, Louisville has won the last 14-straight meetings and 35 of the last 36 games. Kentucky Wesleyan's last victory over the Cardinals was an 83-69 decision in Owensboro on Feb. 19, 1958. KWC's last win over the Cardinals in Louisville was a 68-60 decision on Nov. 30, 1946 in the Armory (now Louisville Gardens).

--Kentucky Wesleyan is the Cards' sixth-most played rivalry with 69 official meetings. The two teams were both members of the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) from 1925-48 before UofL joined the Ohio Valley Conference in 1948.

--In the last meeting, Mike Marra came off the bench to scored 22 points, hitting 6-of-8 three-point attempts, as Louisville beat Kentucky Wesleyan 96-54 in an exhibition game three years ago (11/11/10). UofL went on to post a 25-10 record that season.

--In the last regular season meeting between the two teams, six Cardinals scored in double figures and UofL shot 57.1 percent from the field to beat the Panthers 79-58 on Jan. 5, 1983 in Freedom Hall. Milt Wagner (7-of-8 FG) and Rodney McCray (6-of-8 FG) paced the Cardinals. Dwight Higgs led Kentucky Wesleyan with.

Probable Starting Lineups:

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About Kentucky Wesleyan

One of college basketball's most successful programs on any level, Kentucky Wesleyan begins the 2013-14 season ranked third in The Sporting News' preseason NCAA Division II national rankings. This is the first time the Panthers, playing in their first season as a member of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference, have been ranked in the preseason top 10 since 2002.

KWC Coach Happy Osborne is in his first season at Kentucky Wesleyan after 15 years as head coach at Georgetown College, where he posted a 456-84 record and reached the NAIA Championship tournament every year, winning a national title in 1998. Louisville beat Georgetown in four exhibition games while Osborne was at Georgetown, last winning 80-68 back in 2009.

Hopes are high in Owensboro for a Wesleyan team which returns four starters and more than 56 percent of its scoring from last season.

The Panthers' roster includes five Division-I transfers, including Lonnie Hayes, who notched five points and six assists in a loss to Louisville back in 2011 when he played for Fairleigh Dickinson. In addition to Hayes, the list includes Devin Langford (Illinois), Alex Brown (San Jose State), Dominique Dawson (Minnesota) and Rico Ferguson (Campbell).

Kentucky Wesleyan has won eight NCAA Division II national championships, the most in Division II (1966, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1987, 1990, 1999, 2001). The Panthers advanced to the championship game six consecutive years from 1998-2003, winning two titles in that period. They have been to the Sweet 16 just once (2012) since that span of dominance.

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Relevant Video:


Ladies and gentleman please turn your attention to the dance floor, where the bride and groom will be sharing their first dance to "Glory Bound" from the YouTube video on Kentucky Wesleyan basketball.

Notable:

--Louisville has won 28 straight exhibition games.

--U of L's last exhibition defeat was an 87-86 double-overtime loss to the Global Sports All-Stars on Dec. 2, 2000. The Cards have not lost an exhibition game in regulation since the Athletes in Action dropped the Cards 74-62 on Dec. 9, 1996, in Freedom Hall.

--Louisville has played just five opponents more in their history than Kentucky Wesleyan.

--KWC missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time in six years last season.

--The Panthers are just 1-19 all-time in exhibition games against Division-I opponents. Their lone win was a 55-52 triumph over Evansville in 2009.

--KWC has played Division-I exhibition games against Cincinnati (2001), Evansville (2006, 2009 and 2010), Georgia (2004), Illinois (2007), Kentucky (2004), Louisville (2004, 2006, 2010), Pittsburgh (2011), Purdue (2009), South Carolina (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012), Southeast Missouri (2006) and Western Kentucky (2007, 2012).

--Tonight marks the unofficial start of the 100th season of Louisville basketball.

--Kentucky Wesleyan head coach Happy Osborne has said that he will get a tattoo on his face if the Panthers upset Louisville.

--Louisville won the 2013 Division-I national championship.

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