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Louisville-Hartford preview: Cards look to move to 2-0

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LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (1-0) vs. HARTFORD HAWKS (1-1)

Game Time: 7:02 p.m.

Location: KFC Yum Center: Louisville, Ky.

Television: ESPN3

Announcers: Kent Taylor (play-by-play) and Jody Demling (analyst)

Officials: Les Jones, Wally Rutecki, Gary Prager

Favorite: No Line

Probable Starting Lineups:

All-Time Series: Louisville leads 2-0

Last Meeting: Louisville won 87-48 on Nov. 19, 2013 at the KFC Yum Center

Statistics:


Relevant Video:

About Hartford:

Hartford opened its season with a 92- 83 double overtime victory at Central Connecticut on Nov. 13 before falling 85-68 at Saint Louis on Nov. 15. The Hawks, who posted a 14-16 record last season, were picked to finish sixth in the America East Conference before the start of their 2015-16 campaign.

Junior Justin Graham has been a workhorse for Hartford so far, logging 80 minutes in the first two games of the season. He has averaged 14.5 points and knocked down a pair of threes in each contest. Fellow junior Pancake Thomas (PANCAKE THOMAS!) had a career-high 15 points at St. Louis, adding seven rebounds and four assists in his second game for the Hawks. He joined the Hawks as a transfer from New Mexico prior to last season.

The Hawks spread the wealth in their win over Central Connecticut, with five players finishing in double figures. Taylor Dyson led the team with 17 points, but just behind was Justin Graham with 16, John Carroll and George Blagojevic with 15 and Jalen Ross with 14. Pancake Thomas narrowly missed making it six players in double figures, finishing with nine. The 92 points the team tallied in the game were the most in the John Gallagher era, and the most by a Hawks squad since 2008.

Notable

--Louisville has won 35 consecutive home games in November, last losing to Vanderbilt on November 30, 1972.

--Louisville is 4-0 all-time against teams with the "Hawks" nickname.

--Hartford started its season with quite the road swing, hitting St. Louis, Louisville and St. Peter's in a five-day span following the team's season opener against CCSU. In total, the Hawks will play four games in a span of just 142 hours. Additionally, the team will log a total of 2,282 air miles (across six different airports) and 408 miles on buses in the journey.

--Louisville has opened with an 11-1 record each of the last three seasons.

--Hartford is one of the few Division-I programs which has never played in either the NCAA Tournament or the NIT.

--Louisville hit a school-record 22 3-pointers in its first meeting with Hartford back in 2007.

--Louisville's 124 victories over the last four years are the second-most wins in the nation in that stretch. Louisville and Wichita State are the only schools in the nation to win 30 games in three of the last four seasons, including a school-record 35 victories amassed by Louisville's 2012-13 NCAA Championship team.

--The Cards return just 17 percent of their scoring and a quarter of their assists from last season's 27-9 NCAA Elite Eight team. It is the lowest percentage of scoring returning for Louisville since 1972-73 when UofL was without a returning starter from its 1972 Final Four team and returned just 9.7 percent of its scoring (254 of 2,614). Quentin Snider's 146 points in 2014-15 ranks him as UofL's top returning scorer.

--Louisville has won 37 of its last 38 home games against non-conference opponents.

Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Louisville 82, Hartford 60