Louisville Cardinals (8-2) vs. Albany Great Danes (11-2)
Game Time: 9:05 p.m.
Location: KFC Yum Center: Louisville, Ky.
Announcers: Jordan Bernfield (play-by-play) and Dino Gaudio (analyst)
Officials: Tim Nestor, Pat Driscoll, Keith Kimble
Favorite: Louisville by 15
Series: First Meeting
Probable Starting Lineups:
Albany (11-2) has won five of its last six, including a 68-65 victory over Canisius on Dec. 16 in its last outing as Charles Travis led the Great Danes with 24 points. Albany ranks 16th nationally in rebound margin (9.5) per game and has won two of its three games in the Gotham Classic, losing only at Memphis.
The Great Danes return four of five starters from a team that advanced to the America East championship game and was one win away from the NCAA tournament last season.
This could be the best offensive team Will Brown has fielded in his 16 seasons as the head coach of Albany. Joe Cremo – who passed 1,000 career points earlier this season -- and David Nichols were America East Preseason All-Conference selections. Cremo (17.8 ppg), Nichols (15.7) and Travis Charles (14.9) are all among the top 12 scorers in the America East.
—Wednesday night’s game is the final game of the Gotham Classic for both teams. Louisville is 3-0 in the event and would lock up the title with a victory. Albany is 2-1.
—A win would give Louisville its 29th regular season tournament championship.
—Louisville leads the nation in blocked shots (8.5 bpg) and ranks 13th in field goal percentage defense (.375) and 15th in FT% (.783).
—Albany will be Louisville's 317th different opponent in men's basketball. The Cards are 235-81 in first-time meetings, including 46-2 over the past 15 years. The only two losses came against California and Baylor.
—This will be just the second opponent from the America East that Louisville has ever faced. The Cards are 3-0 against Hartford.
—Albany last played a Power Five opponent on November 11, 2016, an 87-81 win at Penn State. It’s last game against an ACC team was a 58-46 loss at Pitt in 2014.
—Albany is currently ranked No. 4 in the CollegeInsider.com MidMajor Top 25.
—Albany is one of only two Division-I teams (Auburn) to out-rebound its opponent in every game so far this season.
—Louisville has a 35-6 record during the month of December over the last six years, winning 23 of its last 28 in that month.
—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 61 of its last 63 non-conference games at home in the KFC Yum! Center. The Cardinals have won 25 of their last 26 home games against non-conference opponents.
Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Louisville 80, Albany 67