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Hartford (2-2) at (3) Louisville (3-0)



Tuesday, November 19, 7 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Lucas Gulotta, Associate College Basketball Editor

FACTS & STATS: Site: KFC Yum! Center (22,000) -- Louisville, Kentucky. Television: ESPN3. Home Record: Hartford 1-0, Louisville 3-0. Away Record: Hartford 1-1, Louisville 0-0. Neutral Record: Hartford 0-1, Louisville 0-0. Conference Record: Hartford 0-0, Louisville 0-0. Series Record: Louisville leads. 1-0.

GAME NOTES: Rick Pitino's Louisville Cardinals set their sights on a milestone victory, as they host the Hartford Hawks at the KFC Yum! Center as part of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Tip Off.

Hartford improved to 2-2 on Friday with a 74-60 win over Farleigh Dickinson at home. The Hawks split their two road tests prior to the victory in their home opener as they lost by 14 points to Florida Gulf Coast before downing Fairfield, 63-53, last Wednesday. This will be the team's fifth game in 11 days and its first matchup with a ranked opponent since 2009. Coach John Gallagher has a very experienced group as his disposal. Hartford returned four starters and over 90 percent of its scoring from last season's squad that produced one of the best finishes in program history with a 17-14 overall record.

The Cardinals have had no trouble through their first three games. They have defeated the College of Charleston, Hofstra and Cornell by an average margin of 31.7 points per game. Louisville easily dispatched the Big Red in its most recent outing and set a new season-high for points in a game in the 99-54 rout. The defending national champion's current 19-game win streak is the longest in school history. Pitino's squad is tied for second nationally in fewest turnovers per game (6.0) and is third among Division I programs in assists-to-turnover ratio (2.67).

American East Player of the Year candidate Mark Nwakamma has lived up to the hype so far with four consecutive double-digit outings in as many games. The junior forward has surpassed the 20-point mark on two occasions and also recorded a pair of double-doubles. The 6-foot-6 Nwakamma went 5-of-8 from the field to net 14 points in the team's recent decision over FDU. Hartford had its best offensive performance of the campaign against the Knights as it converted 56.1 percent of its field goal attempts with a 10-of-20 clip on 3- point attempts. Evan Cooper scored a team-high 18 points in 20 minutes off the bench and Wes Cole also had a strong showing as a reserve with 11 points.

Louisville's chances of another deep run in March became much greater when Russ Smith decided to return for his senior season. Smith has been outstanding while averaging a team-high 20.3 ppg to go along with five apg. Junior forward Wayne Blackshear is coming off a career-high 20 points which he produced in only 18 minutes versus Cornell. Blackshear has hit seven of his last eight attempts from beyond the arc. Junior college transfer Chris Jones is adding 13.7 ppg, while Montrezl Harrell is near a double-double average with 12 points and 9.3 boards per tilt. The Cardinals' win over the Big Red also marked the return of Kevin Ware, who had not played since suffering a devastating injury in last season's Big Dance versus Duke. Ware scored five points in 13 minutes in his 2013-14 debut.

There have already been a handful of early season upsets, however the Cardinals have too much firepower to fall to an inferior opponent on their own floor. Hartford will need to deliver an outstanding all-around performance to avoid a double-digit setback.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Louisville 84, Hartford 61

11/19 10:54:32 ET

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Local
Final
CAR 3
CLB 4
 
8:30pm Tonight
CAR
PIT
9th
NYY 5
TOR 2
 
Final
MIA 1
WAS 2
8th
BAL 2
BOS 3
 
Final
PIT 1
MIL 0
 
8th
ATL 2
NYM 6
 
7th
TAM 2
CWS 10
 
6th
MIN 2
CLE 5
 
5th
KAN 4
DET 2
 
6th
HOU 4
SEA 3
 
5th
CHC 2
LOS 5
 
2nd
ANA 0
TEX 0
 
1st
OAK 0
PHI 0
 
4:10pm Today
COL
ARI
4:10pm Today
SDP
SFG
8:05pm Tonight
STL
CIN
Final
CAR 3
CLB 4
 
5:00pm Tonight
WAS
BUF
 
6:30pm Tonight
CLB
STL
 
8:00pm Tonight
EDM
CAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CAL
EDM
 
Final
CLE 21
BAL 23
 
Final
STL 31
DAL 34
 
Final
DET 19
GBP 7
 
Final
NYG 30
HOU 17
 
Final
JAC 17
IND 44
 
Final
NOS 20
MIN 9
 
Final
NEP 16
OAK 9
 
Final
BUF 10
SDC 22
 
Final
CIN 33
TEN 7
 
4th
PHI 27
WAS 27
 
1st
ARI 0
SFX 0
 
4:25pm Today
SEA
DEN
4:25pm Today
MIA
KAN
8:30pm Tonight
CAR
PIT