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Louisville-Southern Illinois preview: Cards welcome Salukis back to Yum Center

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Let’s get to 3-0.

George Mason v Louisville Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images

No. 19 Louisville Cardinals (2-0) vs. Southern Illinois Salukis (2-0)

Game Time: 7:05 p.m.

Location: KFC Yum Center: Louisville, KY

Television: Regional Sports Network (Fox Sports South in Louisville)

Announcers: Tom Werme (play-by-play) and Mike Gminksi (analyst)

Officials: Roger Ayers, Mike Eades, Ted Valentine

Favorite: Louisville by 15.5

Series: Louisville leads, 4-2

Last Meeting: Louisville won 74-51 on Dec. 10, 2016 at the KFC Yum Center

Series History:

Probable Starting Lineups:

Statistics:

Relevant Videos:

About Southern Illinois:

The Salukis are off to a 2-0 start after winning 81-66 at Winthrop on Nov. 10 in its season opener as junior center Kavion Pippen scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, earning MVC Newcomer of the Week honors. The Salukis beat Illinois-Springfield 69-64 in its home opener on Nov. 18 as guard Aaron Cook paced Southern Illinois with 20 points and four assists.

The Salukis return three starters from last season’s 17-16 squad which tied for third in the Missouri Valley Conference. The team was picked to finish fifth in the conference before the start of the season.

Two Southern Illinois starters are out with injuries. Thik Bol, a preseason second-team All-MVC selection, had knee surgery on Nov. 3 and is expected to miss approximately six weeks. He started every game last season and averaged 9.1 points, blocked 76 shots and shot a team-best 53.3 percent from the field. Point guard Marcus Bartley, a Saint Louis transfer, broke a bone in his right wrist and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks. Guard Armon Fletcher missed SIU’s last game against Illinois Springfield, but is expected to play Tuesday night.

Notable:

—Louisville has won 44 consecutive home games in November, a streak which dates all the way back to a loss to Vanderbilt on November 30, 1972. The Cards are 31-0 in November games played inside the Yum Center.

—SIU is 10-18 all-time against current members of the ACC. The last win against an ACC team came against Virginia Tech — a 63-48 victory in the NCAA Tournament on Mar. 18, 2007. Since then, SIU has lost to ACC foes Clemson (2011) and Louisville (2016).

—The Salukis have won nine road games against Power Five conference teams in their history. The last time SIU beat a Power Five team on the road was at Colorado on March 16, 2000. The only other road meetings versus Power Five teams since then were losses at Indiana (2000, 2006), Illinois (2010), Missouri (2014) and Louisville (2016).

—Southern Illinois’ two wins over Louisville came when both members were members of the Missouri Valley Conference. U of L was a member of the league from 1963 to 1974.

—Louisville is one of just four schools which have won 20 or more games in each of the last 15 seasons (also Kansas, Duke and Gonzaga).

—Louisville has won 55 of its last 56 non-conference games played inside the Yum Center.

Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Louisville 78, Southern Illinois 63