LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (13-3, 2-1) vs. SOUTHERN METHODIST MUSTANGS (11-3, 1-1)
Game Time: 1:06 p.m.
Location: KFC Yum Center: Louisville, Ky.
Television: CBS Sports Network
Announcers: Andre Catalon (play-by-play), Steve Lappas (analyst) and Doug Gottlieb (analyst)
Favorite: Louisville by 13
Officials: Tom Eades, Pat Driscoll and Hal Lusk
All-Time Series: Louisville leads 6-2
Last Meeting: Louisville won 87-79 in the Rainbow Classic in Honolulu on Dec. 28, 1987
L - 03/17/67 - N - #2 Louisville 81, Southern Methodist 83
W - 12/11/68 - A - Louisville 79, Southern Methodist 73
W - 12/29/69 - H - #14 Louisville 105, Southern Methodist 79
W - 12/30/70 - A - #17 Louisville 97, Southern Methodist 85
W - 12/22/71 - H - #19 Louisville 96, Southern Methodist 62
W - 12/03/83 - H - Louisville 89, Southern Methodist 65
L - 02/16/85 - A - Louisville 64, #4 Southern Methodist 72
W - 12/28/87 - N - Louisville 87, Southern Methodist 79
Probable Starting Lineups:
SMU (11-3, 1-1 AAC), which has been off for a week, evened its league record with an impressive 74-65 victory over then-No. 17/15 Connecticut on Jan. 4 as Nic Moore totaled game highs of 20 points and six assists to lead the Mustangs. Moore, a sophomore transfer from Illinois State, leads the Mustangs in scoring (13.9) and steals (16 total).
SMU is among the national leaders in field goal percentage (.502, sixth nationally), field goal percentage defense (.358, second), rebounding margin (+8.9, 10th) and assists (15.9, 26th). The Mustangs are No. 45 in the Sagarin Ratings and No. 48 in the ratings percentage index (RPI) through Jan. 9.
On defense, SMU is holding opponents to 35.8 percent from the field (1st American, 2nd NCAA) and 61.6 points per game (2nd AAC, 21st NCAA). SMU has held 18 of its last 23 (12 of 14 this year) opponents under 40% shooting. SMU is also leading the league in rebound margin (+8.9, 10th NCAA), outrebounding 13 of 14 opponents. The only opponent to outrebound SMU was [RV/-] Texas A&M (37-33) on Nov. 30 (W, 55-52) and the best margin was +26 (46-20) versus Sam Houston State on Nov. 26 (W, 72-53).
On offense, SMU is shooting 50.2 percent (1st American, 6th NCAA) and 41.5 percent from 3-point range (2nd American, 9th NCAA) while averaging 15.9 assists (2nd AAC, 26th NCAA). The team is averaging 73.5 points per game with seven Mustangs averaging at least 5.4 points. Markus Kennedy (10.4) joins Moore in averaging double figures. Individually, Moore is first in the American and second nationally in 3-point percentage (.547, 35-64). Additionally, the Mustangs have outscored all 14 opponents in the paint by an average of 34.9-18.9.
--Sunday's game is the first collegiate matchup for Hall of Famers Larry Brown and Rick Pitino. The two met 17 times in the NBA (Brown 11-6). It is the third of at least eight matchups across the nation this year between two Hall of Fame head coaches. They have a combined 2,554 wins as head coaches. Brown has 1,679 combined wins as a head coach in his time with teams in the ABA, NBA and NCAA as well as USA Basketball. Pitino has 875 total victories at the NBA and NCAA levels.
--Though he's still listed as a starter in the game notes, SMU will be playing without injured center Yanick Moreira Saturday afternoon.
--Larry Brown is officially 3-0 against Louisville, as his loss to the Cards in the 1980 national championship game has been vacated from both his and UCLA's all-time record. All three of Brown's wins over Louisville came during his time at Kansas.
--Louisville is second in the nation in turnover margin (+7.4) and is 25th in fewest turnovers per game (10.3). U of L has committed 10 or fewer turnovers in 11 of its last 19 games dating back to last year. The Cardinals are generating an average of 21.9 points per game off turnovers.
--U of L is 3-0 all-time against SMU at home.
--A win by Louisville over SMU would be the Cards' 25th straight against unranked opponents, which would be a new program record.
--Louisville hasn't lost back-to-back games with both games being at home in over four years (Charlotte/Western Carolina on 12/5/09 and 12/12/09).
--SMU will look to beat its second-consecutive ranked opponent for the second time in school history, and the first time since 1956.
--SMU is currently receiving votes in the AP poll for the first time since 2003.
--Russ Smith enters Sunday's game ranking second in the AAC in both scoring (17.8 ppg) and assists (4.8 apg).
--The Mustangs have outrebounded their opponents in 13 of 14 games, averaging 38.6 rebounds per game compared to their opponents 29.7 per game. In its last four games, SMU has outrebounded it's opponents by a combined 90-49 in the second half. SMU is 10th in the nation and first in The American in rebounding margin at +8.9.
--The Mustangs have outscored their opponents in the paint in all 14 games this year. SMU has scored 50 or more points in the paint twice this season, a 54-point output against Rhode Island (11/11) and 52 points against Arkansas-Pine Bluff (11/24). On average, the Mustangs have outscored their opponents in the key by a count of 34.9-18.9.
--Louisville is the defending Division-I national champion.
Ken Pom Prediction: Louisville 77, SMU 68