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Louisville-UConn Preview: Cards Look For Third Straight Conference Tournament Title

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Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

NO. 2 LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (28-5, 15-3) vs. NO. 4 CONNECTICUT HUSKIES (26-7, 12-6)

Game Time: 6 p.m.

Location: FedEx Forum: Memphis, Tenn.

Television: ESPN

Announcers: Dave O'Brien (play-by-play), Doris Burke (analyst) and Andy Katz (reporter)

Favorite: Louisville by 8

All-Time Series: Louisville leads 10-6

Last Meeting: Louisville won 81-48 seven days ago at the Yum Center

Series History:

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Statistics:

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Relevant Video:


About UConn:

Connecticut was the last team to defeat Louisville in a conference tournament, winning 69-66 in the 2011 Big East title game en route to its third national title. The Huskies, however, are familiar with the feeling of being blown out by the Cardinals after losing 81-48 last Saturday on the road. It marked Connecticut's eighth straight regular-season loss in the series.

UConn shot a season-low 13.6 percent on 3-pointers in last Saturday's loss to the Cardinals, but they have found the range in this tournament. They made 10 of 20 3-pointers in Thursday's 72-53 win over No. 19 Memphis and connected on 7 of 13 in Friday's 58-56 victory over No. 13 Cincinnati.

Niels Giffey has made 9 of his last 12 3s for UConn, which was ineligible for postseason play a year ago. Conference player of the year Shabazz Napier has 26 points in this tournament. Napier scored 30 in January against the Cardinals, but he only averages 13.1 on 32.1 percent shooting in seven career meetings.

Notable:

--Louisville has reached the championship game of its conference tournament for the fifth time in the last six years and the fourth straight.

--It is the 28th time the Cardinals have reached their conference tournament championship game. Louisville won the 2009, 2012 and 2013 Big East titles and has won 14 of its last 16 conference tournament games.

--U of L has a composite 80-41 conference tournament record (2-0 American Athletic Conference, 13-5 Big East Conference, 13-8 Conference USA, 32-9 Metro Conference, 18-18 Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, 2-1 Ohio Valley Conference).

--The Cardinals have won 18 conference tournament titles (3 Big East, 2 C-USA, 11 Metro, 2 KIAC).

--Each time Louisville has played its last season in a conference, the Cardinals have won that league's tournament championship.

--Louisville is 0-2 against Connecticut on neutral courts.

--Louisville has won nine straight conference tournament games and 11 straight postseason games overall. The Cards are 19-1 in postseason games since the start of March, 2012.

--Louisville is second in the nation in turnover margin and third in steals per game (10.3).

--Louisville's 28-5 record is the same one its 2012-13 national championship team had through 32 games.

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

Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Louisville 70, Connecticut 64