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Louisville-Kentucky Preview: Cats And Cards Meet In The Biggest Game Of The 2014-15 Season So Far

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Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

NO. 4 LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (11-0) vs. NO. 1 KENTUCKY WILDCATS (12-0)

Game Time: 2:05 p.m.

Location: KFC Yum Center: Louisville, Ky.

Television: ESPN2

Announcers: Dan Shulman (play-by-play), Jay Bilas (analyst) and Shannon Spake (reporter)

Officials: Karl Hess, Roger Ayers and Michael Roberts

Favorite: Kentucky by 6

All-Time Series: Kentucky leads 32-15

Last Meeting: Kentucky won 74-69 in the Sweet 16 of the 2014 NCAA Tournament

Series History:

Probable Starting Lineups:

Statistics:

Relevant Videos:

About Kentucky:

The unanimous No. 1 team in the Associated Press Top 25 for a third straight week, the Kentucky Wildcats will walk into the KFC Yum Center on Saturday with dreams of not only a national championship, but of a perfect season.

The Wildcats are as deep and talented as any college basketball team in recent memory. They lead the nation in scoring defense (47.7), scoring margin (+29.1) and blocked shots (8.7 bpg), and they have beaten four ranked opponents
this season. North Carolina is the only opponent to shoot better than 40 percent from the field against UK.

Because of John Calipari's "Platoon System," only three Wildcat players average double figures in points, and none average more than 10.6 ppg. Aaron Harrison, the preseason Player of the Year in the SEC, is the team's leading scorer. Big man Willie Cauley Stein (10.5 ppg) and freshman sharp-shooter Devin Booker (10.0 ppg) are the other Wildcat payers averaging double figures.

Kentucky defeated Louisville twice last season, including a 74-69 thriller in the Sweet 16. They're also tacky and we hate them.

Notable

--This is the first time in the Louisville-Kentucky series that the two teams have met in a non-season-opening game where both are undefeated.

--This is the highest-ranked matchup in series history, and just the second time the two teams have met with both ranked in the top five.

--Today's game marks the first time in 60 games and the first time since March 2, 2013 (at Syracuse) that Louisville has not favored in been a game. All told, the Cardinals had been favorites in 83 of their last 84 games.

--Louisville has not trailed past the 16:04 mark of the second half in any game this season.

--Louisville has a 31-5 record in December over the last four years, including an 19-1 mark the last two seasons.

--Louisville's 107 victories over the last four 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).

--U of L is 155-9 over the last 14 seasons under Coach Rick Pitino when scoring 80 or more points (20-1 last season, 11-1 in 2012-13).

--Louisville has won 35 straight games at home against non-conference opponents, the fifth-longest current streak in the nation.

--Today's game is the first time in more than a decade that two Division-I college basketball teams with records of 11-0 or better have met.

--Louisville is off to a 11-0 start for the fifth time in program history. The Cardinals are one of eight remaining unbeaten teams in Division-I.

--Louisville is 5-15 all-time against No. 1 teams, and 3-1 against No. 1 teams at home under Rick Pitino.

Here's the history:

L - 03/20/51 - N - Louisville 68, #1 Kentucky 79
W - 03/02/53 - H - #18 Louisville 73, #1 Seton Hall 67
L - 03/17/61 - H - Louisville 55, #1 Ohio State 56
L - 03/15/68 - N - #9 Louisville 75, #1 Houston 91
L - 03/23/72 - N - #4 Louisville 77, #1 UCLA 96
L - 03/29/75 - N - #4 Louisville 74, #1 UCLA 75 (OT)
L - 04/02/83 - N - #2 Louisville 81, #1 Houston 94
W - 03/31/86 - N - #7 Louisville 72, #1 Duke 69
L - 12/12/87 - A - Louisville 75, #1 Kentucky 76
L - 01/26/91 - H - Louisville 85, #1 UNLV 97
L - 03/25/93 - N - #15 Louisville 69, #1 Indiana 82
L - 03/05/95 - H - Louisville 73, #1 UCLA 91
L - 01/27/00 - H - Louisville 65, #1 Cincinnati 75
W - 12/13/03 - H - Louisville 73, #1 Florida 65
L - 04/02/05 - N - #4 Louisville 57, #1 Illinois 72
L - 03/29/08 - N - #13 Louisville 73, #1 North Carolina 83
W - 01/17/09 - H - #20 Louisville 69, #1 Pittsburgh 63
L - 02/02/09 - H - #5 Louisville 51, #1 Connecticut 68
W - 03/06/10 - H - Louisville 78, #1 Syracuse 68
L - 03/31/12 - N - #17 Louisville 61, #1 Kentucky 69

--Since 2012, Louisville and Kentucky are a combined 23-3 in the NCAA Tournament with four Final Four appearances and two national championships. Two of those losses came when the Cardinals lost to the Wildcats.

--This year's Louisville-Kentucky has been dubbed the "College Basketball Hall of Fame Shootout."

--Louisville's 87-26 win over Savannah State was Rick Pitino's 22nd victory at U of L that came by 40 points or more, the most of any coach in Cardinal history.

--With 14 steals in its last game vs. Cal State Northridge, the Cardinals are averaging 11.0 steals, ranking fourth in the nation. U of L has produced double-digit steals in nine of its 11 games this season.

--Montrezl Harrell needs just 88 points to reach 1,000 for his career.

--Louisville is 26-0 all-time in games in which sophomore guard David Levitch sees the court.

Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Kentucky 64, Louisville 62