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The first game of the Kenny Payne era at Louisville will come against Bellarmine

It’ll be the Cards vs. the Knights on Nov. 9.

Bellarmine v Louisville Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

On Thursday, Bellarmine men’s basketball coach Scotty Davenport revealed that his team will open its 2022-23 season on Nov. 9 against Louisville at the KFC Yum Center. If accurate, this almost certainly means that the first game of the Kenny Payne era at U of L will be played against the Knights.

The first official day of the 2022-23 college basketball season is Nov. 8, so unless the Cards are planning on opening the season with games on consecutive days, it’s safe to assume the game against BU on the 9th (a Wednesday) will be their first.

Bellarmine is coming off a 20-13 season which culminated with the Knights winning the Atlantic Sun tournament. Unfortunately, because of the NCAA’s prehistoric rule that prohibits teams from playing in the NCAA tournament during their first four seasons as a Division-I member, the Knights were still forced to watch March Madness from home.

This game is the first of two between Louisville and Bellarmine. The Cardinals and Knights will also meet at the KFC Yum Center in 2023. The games were scheduled as part of a deal that was made when Bellarmine moved one of its home basketball games in Freedom Hall in order to accommodate the top-ranked U of L volleyball team hosting NCAA tournament games inside the historic arena.

Kicking off the Payne era with a celebration of basketball in the Derby City? I don’t hate it.