Louisville-SMU Preview: Cards Look To Keep Mustangs From Completing Unbeaten Home Season

Andy Lyons

LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (24-5, 13-3) AT SMU MUSTANGS (23-6, 12-4)

Game Time: 7 p.m.

Location: Moody Coliseum: Dallas, Texas

Television: CBS Sports Network

Announcers: Dave Ryan (play-by-play), Pete Gillen (analyst) and Kristine Leahy (reporter)

Favorite: Louisville by 3.5

Officials: Joe DeRosa, Tom Eades and Mike Sanzere

All-Time Series: Louisville leads 7-2

Last Meeting: Louisville won 71-63 on Jan. 12 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 SMU:

SMU, which is closing in on its first NCAA Tournament bid in 21 years, sits just one game back of Louisville and Cincinnati in the AAC standings, and still has a shot at claiming at least a share of the regular season crown.

The Mustangs are one of the best defensive teams in the country, limiting opponents to 36.9 percent shooting. They're also 4-1 against ranked opponents this season, and are a win tonight away from a perfect record at home.

Larry Brown's team, which has won seven of its last eight games, is among the national leaders in field-goal percentage defense (.369, 2nd in the NCAA), field-goal percentage (.492, ninth NCAA), scoring defense (61.2, 17th in the NCAA) and rebounding margin (+5.4, 28th NCAA). Senior guard Nic Moore leads SMU in scoring (14.1 ppg, 12th in AAC), assists (4.7 apg, 3rd AAC) and three-point percentage (.451, 60-of-133, 2nd ACC).

Notable:

--SMU is 15-0 at home this season.

--Louisville's visit to Dallas marks SMU's first home game between two ranked opponents since the ninth-ranked Mustangs defeated No. 19 Louisville 72-64 on Feb. 16, 1985.

--Louisville is second in the nation in turnover margin (+6.7) and is 25th in fewest turnovers per game (10.3). U of L has committed 10 or fewer turnovers in 20 of its last 32 games dating back to last year. The Cardinals are generating an average of 21.5 points per game off turnovers.

--SMU seniors Nick Russell and Shawn Williams will be honored prior to the game. The senior duo has combined for 135 starts.

--Louisville has not beaten an opponent on that team's senior night since 2009.

--Louisville is favored in tonight's game for a program-record 41st straight time. The Cards have not been an underdog since playing at Syracuse on March 2, 2013. All told, U of L has been the favorite in 69 of their last 70 games.

--U of L has lost a school record five straight games where both teams are ranked in the AP poll and the Cards own the better ranking.

--SMU's upset over No. 2 Louisville in the 1967 NCAA Midwest Regional (Lawrence, Kan.) marks the highest ranked opponent the Mustangs have ever defeated.

--Louisville's 24-5 start is the second best of the Rick Pitino era and the same record last season's national championship team had through 29 games.

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

Ken Pomeroy Prediction: SMU 69, Louisville 68

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