Louisville-Memphis Preview: March Is Here

Andy Lyons

LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (24-4, 13-2) AT MEMPHIS TIGERS (21-7, 10-5)

Game Time: 2 p.m.

Location: FedEx Forum: Memphis, Tenn.

Television: CBS

Announcers: Andre Catalon (play-by-play) and Mike Gminski (analyst)

Favorite: Louisville by 4.5

Officials: John Higgins, Rick Crawford and Brian O'Connell

All-Time Series: Louisville leads 53-35

Last Meeting: Memphis won 73-67 on Jan. 9 at the Yum Center

Series History:

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Probable Starting Lineups:

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Statistics:

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Relevant Video:


About Memphis:

Memphis has won five of its last seven, but is coming off of an upset loss at the hands of Houston Thursday night. The Tigers enter today's game ranked No. 21 in the AP Top 25 and No. 22 in the USA Today coaches' poll.

Senior guard Joe Jackson leads the balanced Tigers in scoring (14.4 ppg, 11th in AAC), assists (4.7 apg, 3rd AAC) and steals (1.7, 6th ACC). Jackson is the second player in Memphis history with career totals of 1,500 points, 500 assists and 175 steals. Chris Crawford has also scored over 1,000 career points for the Tigers. Memphis is third nationally in assists per game (17.8), eighth in steals per game (8.8), and 17th infield goal percentage (.486).

Notable:

--This is the final scheduled meeting between these two longtime rivals, although there is a plan to renew the series during the 2015-16 season.

--Memphis is Louisville's second most played rival. The 88 games played between the two ranks behind only the 99 played between Cincinnati and U of L.

--Memphis has not swept a season series with Louisville since the 1996-97 season.

--Louisville is second in the nation in turnover margin (+6.9) and is 20th in fewest turnovers per game (10.2). U of L has committed 10 or fewer turnovers in 20 of its last 31 games dating back to last year (last seven straight). The Cardinals are generating an average of 21.7 points per game off turnovers.

--Memphis and Louisville are two of the five college basketball programs that have reached 4 million in attendance during the 21st century (Syracuse, Kentucky and North Carolina are the other three).

--Louisville ranks second in the nation in steals per game (9.7).

--Memphis is 13-2 at the FedEx Forum this season.

--Louisville has held eight of its last 12 opponents under 40 percent shooting from the field, including a season-best 28.6 percent against Cincinnati two games ago.

--The Tigers and Cardinals are two of the worst free-throw shooting teams in the country. Memphis ranks 304th (65.8 percent), and Louisville is a few steps behind at No. 313 (65.5).

--Memphis is the last team to score more than 70 points against U of L.

--Louisville is 3-0 all-time against Memphis at the FedEx Forum, and 22-16 against the Tigers in Memphis overall.

--Louisville has lost a school record four consecutive games when both teams are ranked in the AP poll and Louisville is ranked higher.

--The Cardinals have been favored to win every game they've played this season. The last time Louisville was not favored to win a game was at Syracuse on March 2, 2013. U of L won that game.

--Louisville's 24-4 start is tied with the 2004-05 Cardinals for the best start in a season during the Rick Pitino era. The 2012-13 national championship team was 23-5 after 28 games last season, but did not lose again.

--None of us are shaving until the Cards lose again.

--Louisville is the defending Division-I national champion.

Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Louisville 75, Memphis 71

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