LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (14-3, 3-1) vs. HOUSTON COUGARS (10-6, 2-1)
Game Time: 7 p.m.
Location: KFC Yum Center: Louisville, Ky.
Television: CBS Sports Network
Announcers: Dave Ryan (play-by-play), Pete Gillen (analyst) and Evan Washburn (reporter)
Favorite: Louisville by 17
Officials: Karl Hess, Bryan Kersey and Michael Stephens
All-Time Series: Louisville leads 13-5
Last Meeting: Houston won 70-67 on Jan. 5 , 2005 in Houston
Probable Starting Lineups:
No amount of viewings is too many.
Houston which has been off for nine days, fell 61-60 to Cincinnati on Jan. 7 in Houston in the Cougars' last game. UH had been off to a 2-0 start in AAC play that included an upset of Connecticut.
Junior forward TaShawn Thomas is the only player in The American to rank among the league's top four in both scoring (17.5 ppg, 4th) and rebounding (8.9 rpg, 2nd). The Cougars are 15th nationally in blocked shots, swatting 6.4 per game and Thomas is seventh with 3.6 blocks per game. Three Cougar players have missed several recent games with injuries, including forward J.J. Richardson (missed last four games) and guards Danuel House (last nine) and L.J. Rose (last five).
Houston is No. 139 in the Sagarin Ratings, No. 182 in the ratings percentage index(RPI) through Jan. 15.
--Chicken is coming to The Bucket.
--Louisville is 7-0 all-time against Houston at home.
--Louisville is second in the nation in turnover margin (+7.0) and is 25th in fewest turnovers per game (10.6). U of L has committed 10 or fewer turnovers in 11 of its last 20 games dating back to last year. The Cardinals are generating an average of 21.4 points per game off turnovers.
--Luke Hancock is averaging 18.5 ppg in AAC play.
--This happened today:
--Houston coach James Dickey has never faced Louisville.
--Louisville has won 25 straight games against unranked opponents, the longest such streak in program history.
--Russ Smith's next free throw will be the 400th of his career. After making 14 free throws against Rutgers -- two short of a school record -- Smith moved up to eighth in career free throws at Louisville (399 currently) and is 11 behind No. 7 DeJuan Wheat (410). He is 91 short of the school record.
--Louisville ranks among the nation's top 40 in eight statistical categories through games of Jan. 12. Individually Montrezl Harrell is fifth in field goal percentage (.637), Luke Hancock (.864) is 55th and Wayne Blackshear (.860) is 66th in free-throw percentage, Russ Smith
--Louisville is the defending Division-I national champion.
Ken Pom Prediction: Louisville 82, Houston 64