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Louisville vs. Pittsburgh preview: Cards kick off ACC season

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Go Cards.

NCAA Basketball: Louisville at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Louisville Cardinals (10-3, 0-0) vs. Pittsburgh Panthers (8-6, 0-1)

Game Time: 9:05 p.m.

Location: KFC Yum Center: Louisville, Ky.

Television: ESPNU

Announcers: Kevin Fitzgerald (play-by-play) and Dino Gaudio (analyst)

Officials: Bill Covington, Jr., Jeff Clark, Michael Stephens

Favorite: Louisville by 17

Probable Starting Lineups:

Series: Louisville leads, 14-5

Last Meeting: Louisville won 106-51 on Jan. 24, 2017 in Pittsburgh

Series History:

Statistics:

Relevant Videos:

About Pitt:

Picked to finish last in the ACC heading into the season, Pitt enters Tuesday night’s game at the Yum Center with an 8-6 record. The Panthers have won seven of their last nine games, with their only two losses over that span coming against ranked foes West Virginia and Miami.

Pitt, which has an almost entirely new roster this season, is led by JuCo transfer guard Jared Wilson-Frame. The junior enters Tuesday’s game averaging a team-high 12.9 ppg. Freshman Marcus Carr is chipping in 10.9 points and 4.1 assists per game.

The Panthers currently rank 196th in Ken Pom’s adjusted offensive efficiency rankings, and 146th in adjusted defensive efficiency. They are a much better shooting team from inside the arc (53.4%) than they are outside of it (33.7%). Thankfully for Louisville, this is also a team that ranks near the bottom of the country in offensive rebound percentage (254th), block percentage (332nd), steal percentage (309th), and turnover percentage (295th).

Notable:

—Louisville has won seven of its last nine conference openers and four of its last five conference home openers.

—Louisville is 6-0 against Pitt in games played inside the KFC Yum Center, and 8-1 against the Panthers in Louisville.

—Louisville is second in the nation in blocked shots (8.2 bpg) and ranks 21st in field goal percentage defense (.384) and 38th in free throw percentage (,755). Center Anas Mahmoud is third in the nation in blocked shots (4.08).

—Pitt’s Ryan Luther, one of four players in the ACC averaging a double-double, has missed the past four games with a stress reaction in his right foot. Luther is averaging 12.7 points, 10.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.

—Louisville has won seven of its last nine games in its first game of a new calendar year.

—Quentin Snider needs 62 points to become Louisville’s 68th career 1,000-point scorer.

—Louisville has a 37-8 record in its conference home games over the last six years (.822), including an 8-1 record last year.

—Pitt is shooting 53.4 percent (214-of-401) from inside the three-point arc on the season. The Panthers are 113-of-335 (.337) from beyond the arc over the first 14 games of the season.

— 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).

—Pitt has not lost back-to-back games to open league play since joining the ACC in 2013-14. The Panthers dropped their ACC opener to Miami over the weekend.

—Louisville has a 39-17 record during the month of January over the last eight years, including a 23-8 record in the last five years.

—Pitt has won three consecutive games and is 15-5 in games played on Jan. 2.

—Pitt coach Kevin Stallings faced the Cardinals as a player at Purdue in Louisville’s 73-71 victory at Mackey Arena on Dec. 9, 1981. As a senior starter, Stallings handed out 11 assists and scored six points in the game.

—As a coach, Stallings is 0-3 against Louisville.

—Louisville has a 13-1 record all-time in games played on Jan. 2.

—Louisville and Pitt will square off again on Feb. 11 in Pittsburgh.

Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Louisville 76, Pittsburgh 62