Louisville at UNLV 11-28-09

November 28, 2009

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The Cardinals (4-0) eased past Appalachian State 80-53 on Monday to win the Hall of Fame Showcase. That victory came after Pitino publicly scrutinized the team’s listless play in tournament wins over East Tennessee and Morgan State over the previous two days.

These teams met at Louisville on New Year’s Eve last season and the Rebels pulled off a 56-55 upset victory. The Cardinals, then ranked 18th, shot 29.6 percent from the field and had a season-low seven assists. They rebounded to win the Big East regular-season and tournament titles, and Pitino is hoping a matchup at Las Vegas will give his team – populated with 10 freshmen and sophomores – some needed experience.

Louisville has won five of nine meetings with UNLV, including a 68-48 victory in its last visit to Las Vegas on Nov. 21, 2007. Samardo Samuels is enjoying a strong start, leading the Cardinals with averages of 17.5 points and 8.0 rebounds. The sophomore had only eight field-goal attempts Monday but scored 16 points. Samuels was held to 10 points on 2-of-6 shooting by UNLV last season, and the 6-foot-9 forward was defending Oscar Bellfield when the 6-foot-2 Rebels guard made the go-ahead layup with 16 seconds to play.

The Rebels, seeking their second consecutive 5-0 start, hope another win over Louisville can vault them into the Top 25 for the first time since ending the 2006-07 season at No. 19.  I like Louisville to win this matchup, especially since they lost last year to them.  Look for Louisville to be focused in this one.

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By Lawrence Tate Associate Freepick1.com Editor


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