Louisville unveils challenging schedule

The University of Louisville announced a 2009-10 men's basketball schedule Thursday that includes its typically challenging Big East Conference slate, plus non-conference games against Kentucky, Western Kentucky and UNLV.

Nineteen of the Cardinals' 31 games are against opponents who played in the post-season in 2008-09. Louisville has 21 home games in Freedom Hall and at least 14 games on national television.

The Cardinals will take to the road for the Hall of Fame Shootout in St. Louis and play host to the Billy Minardi Classic.

"When your opening game is against an SEC team, you're on the road against UNLV and Kentucky and you've got a full schedule in the Big East, it shapes up as another challenging schedule for us," said U of L Coach Rick Pitino. "This team has shown me early on that they have great chemistry and a strong work ethic. We look forward to another competitive season."

Nine lettermen return from last year's 31-6 squad that won the Big East title, claimed the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Elite Eight.

The Cardinals will face their first outside competition in an exhibition game against Georgetown College on Oct. 28 in Freedom Hall.

U of L will open its regular season on Nov. 17 against Coach John Pelphrey and Arkansas in the Hall of Fame Showcase at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.

The Cards' 18-game league schedule includes two games each against Connecticut, St. John's and Syracuse.

Tip-off times and TV arrangements for all games are incomplete and will be released at a later date.

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