NO. 8 LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (0-0) vs. MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS (0-0)
Game Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: U.S. Air Station Borinquen: Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
Announcers: Dan Shulman (play-by-play), Jay Bilas (analyst) and Andy Katz (reporter). Pregame/halftime/post show: Kevin Conners and Jay Williams.
Favorite: Louisville by 8.5
All-Time Series: Minnesota leads 3-2
Last Meeting: Minnesota won 70-64 on Dec. 20, 2008 at Glendale, Ariz. in the 2008 Stadium Shootout.
Probable Starting Lineups:
Minnesota, which won a school-record 25 games and the 2014 NIT Championship, is picked to finish fourth in the Big Ten by Lindy's Sports in its second season under head coach Richard Pitino.
The Golden Gophers return four starters, including its scoring, rebounding and assist leaders who are each seniors: guard Andre Hollins (13.6 ppg), center Elliott Eliason (6.6 rpg) and guard DeAndre Mathieu (4.5 apg). Minnesota beat Minnesota Duluth 95-68 in an exhibition game on Nov. 6 as junior guard Carlos Morris' 23 points led five Gophers in double figures.
--Louisville has won its last 10 season-opening games, and 19 of its last 21.
--Minnesota has won 16 straight season-opening games and is 90-22 all-time in season-openers.
--Minnesota is opening its season away from home for the first time since 1994, when the Gophers faced fifth-ranked Arizona in the Great Alaska Shootout. That is also the last time the Gophers opened the season against a ranked opponent. The results from that season were later vacated.
--Because Minnesota also had its 1992-93 season vacated, they do not list their loss to Louisville in that season's NCAA Tournament, and claim a 3-1 series advantage over the Cardinals.
--Louisville is favored in tonight's game for a program-record 49th 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 73 of their last 74 games.
--Louisville's 96 victories over the last three years are the most wins in the nation in that stretch. Louisville is the only school in the nation with three straight 30 win seasons, including a school-record 35 victories amassed by Louisville's 2012-13 NCAA Championship team (30 in 2011- 12, 31 in 2013-14).
--The last meeting between the two teams was the now-infamous "Arizona? I don't think I ever been there before" Earl Clark game in 2008 (see Edgar Sosa Show video for further explanation...or if you just want to watch it again).
--This will be the 18th time in college basketball that a father-son head coaching matchup takes place. In those games, the father's team has won 15 times.
--The last head coach to defeat his father was Jan van Breda Kolff at Hofstra, defeating his father Butch‘s Cornell team on Jan. 6, 1994.
--Rick Pitino needs just five more wins to reach 700 for his career.
--Louisville is making its third visit to Puerto Rico to play in a basketball event. The Cardinals finished as runner-up in the Puerto Rico Shootout in both 1995 and 1997. In the Cardinals' first game in the event in 1995, American's Joel Curelo poured in 47 points, the most points ever scored by a U of L opponent.
--Montrezl Harrell enters the 2014-15 season 255 points short of becoming the 66th career 1,000-point scorer at Louisville. Wayne Blackshear is also within striking distance of that milestone, entering the season with 630 career points.
Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Louisville 76, Minnesota 67