Pitino Previews Thursday's NCAA Game Against Morehead State

 
Preston Knowles led the Cardinals in scoring the BIG EAST Championship game with 18 points.


Preston Knowles led the Cardinals in scoring the BIG EAST Championship game with 18 points.

March 14, 2011

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino met with the media Monday afternoon to preview Thursday's NCAA Tournament second-round game against Morehead State on March 17 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colo. The game is set for a 1:40 p.m. ET tip, and it will be broadcast on TBS, with Verne Lundquist (play-by-play) and Bill Raftery (color) calling the action.

The No. 14/14-ranked Cardinals are making their 37th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, entering the event with a 25-9 overall record. Louisville, a No. 4 seed, is coming off a trip to the championship game in the BIG EAST Tournament, where the Cardinals fell to Connecticut, 69-66, on March 12. Three Cardinals finished the game in double digits in scoring, led by Preston Knowles' 18 points. Peyton Siva recorded 13 points and a team-best seven rebounds, while Terrence Jennings scored 11 points. The Cardinals shot a solid 54.2 percent (13-of-24) from the field in the second half and held the Huskies to just 28 percent (7-of-25) from the field in the period. Kemba Walker led Connecticut with 19 points.

Morehead State, a No. 13 seed, is making its fourth NCAA Tournament appearance after posting a 24-9 overall record and winning its second Ohio Valley Conference Tournament title in three years. In the title game, Morehead State defeated Tennessee Tech, 80-73, on March 5. Kenneth Faried led the charge with game highs in points (24) and rebounds (18), while Terrance Hill added 15 points and four steals. The Eagles dominated on the glass, owning a 40-24 advantage, grabbing 12 on the offensive end. Morehead State made 25 trips to the charity stripe, hitting 22, compared to Tennessee Tech's 9-of-11 stint at the line.

The Eagles are under the direction of fifth-year coach Donnie Tyndall, who's led the program to three consecutive 20-win seasons. He has guided Morehead State to a 95-69 overall record. Faried leads the team in scoring (17.6) and rebounding (14.5) per game. Harper is second on the team in scoring at 16 points per game and leads the team with 113 assists.

The Series - Louisville vs. Morehead State
Louisville owns a 31-11 all-time series advantage over Morehead State in a series that dates back to 1932. This is the fourth time the two programs will be meeting in the NCAA Tournament. The Cardinals have won the last 13 overall meetings, including a 74-54 victory on March 20, 2009, at the NCAA Mideast Region first round. Samardo Samuels scored a team-high 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting, while grabbing seven rebounds. Terrance Williams had totals of 13 points and nine rebounds, and Earl Clark finished with 12 points, five rebounds and five assists. Collectively, Louisville shot 58 percent (29-of-50) for the game and held Morehead State to just 38.5 percent (20-of-52) from the field.

GAME FACTS - Louisville vs. Morehead State
Date: Thursday, March 17
Time: 1:40 p.m. ET
Site: Denver, Colo., Pepsi Center (19,155)
TV: TBS will televise the game, with Verne Lundquist (play-by-play) and Bill Raftery (color) calling the action. Radio: WKRD (790 AM, 101.7 FM) will broadcast the game on radio, with Paul Rogers (play-by-play) and Bob Valvano (color) calling the action.
SIRIUS: Game will be available on SIRIUS Channel 127.
Series History: Louisville leads the all-time series, 31-11 (23-2 in Louisville, 3-8 in Morehead, 5-1 neutral).
Next U of L Game: Should U of L advance, Saturday, March 19, NCAA Tournament Third Round (winner of Vanderbilt/Richmond), Denver, Colo., time TBA

 

 

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