NO. 5 LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (6-0) vs. FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL PANTHERS (5-3)
Game Time: 7 p.m.
Location: KFC Yum Center: Louisville, Ky
Television: Fox Sports South/ESPN3
Announcers: Wes Durham (play-by-play) and Mike Gminski (analyst)ter)
Officials: Mike Stuart, Tim Kelly and Jerry Heater
Favorite: Louisville by 29.5
All-Time Series: Louisville leads 3-0
Last Meeting: Louisville won 85-56 on Dec. 21, 2013 in Miami
Probable Starting Lineups:
About Florida International:
FIU (5-3) is coming off of a 59-33 home win over Kennesaw State on Dec. 2 where Dennis Mavin and Daviyon Draper scored 16 points each to pace the Panthers. FIU limited Kennesaw State to 26.9 percent shooting from the field, forced 15 turnovers and held a +10 margin in rebounding for the game.
The Panthers have posted strong defensive figures through their first eight games, ranking 26th nationally in scoring defense (55.0 ppg), eighth in three-point field goal percentage defense (.215) and 93rd nationally in steals (9.0 per game). Junior center Adrian Diaz, who is 39th in the nation in blocked shots (2.5), scored a career-high 33 points at Georgia Southern on Nov. 24. He leads the Panthers in rebounding, averaging 7.5 rebounds and 13.8 points. Senior guard Dennis Mavin is FIU's top scorer, averaging 16.5 points, 5.4 points and 2.4 assists.
--Louisville has a 26-5 record in December over the last four years, including a 14-1 mark the last two seasons.
--All six of Louisville's opponents so far this season have been held to less than 40 percent shooting from the floor.
--Louisville is favored in tonight's game for a program-record 55th 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 79 of their last 80 games.
--Louisville has won 31 straight home games against non-conference opponents, the 8th longest such streak in Division-I.
--Montrezl Harrell has scored in double figures in 18 consecutive games, the longest such streak of any ACC player.
--Louisville's 102 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 152-9 over the last 14 seasons under Coach Rick Pitino when scoring 80 or more points (20-1 last season, 11-1 in 2012-13).--U of L has produced double-digit steals in five of its six games.
--Louisville's +27.0 scoring margin is seventh in the nation, its +5.3 turnover margin is 23rd and rebounding margin of +12.2 is 11th nationally.
--The Cardinals are third in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 48.0 points per game.
--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.
--Louisville is 23-0 all-time in games in which sophomore guard David Levitch sees the court.
--Montrezl Harrell is just 155 points short of becoming the 66th career 1,000-point scorer at Louisville. Harrell also needs just nine dunks to become Louisville's all-time leader in that category.
Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Louisville 73, Florida International 50