Louisville Cardinals (4-2) vs. Siena Saints (2-5)
Game Time: 7:01 p.m.
Location: KFC Yum Center: Louisville, Ky.
Announcers: Mike Couzens (play-by-play) and Debbie Antonelli (analyst)
Officials: Brian Dorsey, Raymond Styons Jr., Mark Schnur
Favorite: Louisville by 23.5
Series: Tied 1-1
Last Meeting: Louisville won 79-72 in the second round of the NCAA tournament on March 22, 2009 in Dayton
Probable Starting Lineups:
The Saints enter Wednesday night’s game with a record of just 2-5, but are coming off a 76-74 win over Robert Morris on Dec. 2. Nico Clareth, a starter in the first six games, came off the bench to lead the Saints with 20 points in that contest.
Clareth, a 6’5 junior who was a second team preseason All-MAAC selection, leads the team in scoring at 16.9 ppg. Guard Ashante Shivers (11.7 ppg) and 6’8 forward Prince Oduro (10.3 ppg/6.1 rpg) are the team’s other double figure scorers.
Siena went 17-17 a season ago, reaching the MAAC championship game before falling in an 87-86 overtime thriller to Iona.
—Wednesday night’s game is the first of four for Louisville in the Houzz Gotham Classic, a five-team round-robin event. Bryant, Albany and Memphis are the other teams participating in the event.
—A Gotham Classic championship would be Louisville’s 29th regular season tournament title.
—The first meeting between these two programs took place in Albany in 1953. In that game, Siena attempted an incredible 68 free-throws and made 44, both still school records. The Saints won the game, 78-71.
—Louisville has a 31-6 record during the month of December over the last six years, winning 19 of its last 24 in that month.
—Louisville is second in the nation in blocked shots (7.3 bpg) and ranks 20th in field goal percentage defense (.374) and 16th in FT% (.784).
—This is only the second time in the history of Siena basketball that the Saints have played a game in the state of Kentucky. They lost at Murray State in 1956.
—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).
—Siena is 7-23 (.233) all-time vs. the 15 programs which currently comprise the ACC.
—Louisville has won 58 of its last 60 non-conference games at home in the KFC Yum Center. The Cardinals’ loss to Seton Hall on Sunday snapped a 22-game winning streak in such situations.
Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Louisville 85, Siena 62