(8:30 p.m., ESPNU)
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About the opponent
Location: Beaumont, Texas
School colors: Red and White
Coach: Pat Knight
2011-12 record: 8-4 overall, 0-0 Southland Conference
2010-11 record: 13-17 overall, 7-9 Southland Conference
All time vs. UK: 0-2
Last meeting: Kentucky won 103-61 on Dec. 3, 2008, in Rupp Arena.
Outlook: Knight, the son of Hall of Fame coach Bob Knight, found his way to Lamar less than a month after being let go by Texas Tech. He faced a major rebuilding job at a school that hasn't won a league title since the program's glory days in the early 1980s. Knight is off to a winning start despite having to suspend star guard Mike James for three games, but he has been humbled in big losses to Louisville (68-48) and Ohio State (70-50). The Cardinals have lost 21 in a row to nationally ranked opponents, but Knight told the Beaumont Enterprise that he plans to continue playing them. "I think eventually if the program keeps playing games like that, you need to start winning some of these games," he said. "These kids want to play them. That's the thing: They're not like, 'Coach, what are we doing?' They were telling me these are teams they want to play." Anthony Miles (15.1 ppg), James (13.3), Charlie Harper (11.0) and Devon Lamb (10.8) score in double figures for the well-balanced Cardinals.
About the opponent
School colors: Red and Black
Conference: Big East
Coach: Rick Pitino
2011-12 record: 12-0 overall, 0-0 Big East Conference
2010-11 record: 25-10 overall, 12-6 Big East Conference
All time vs. UK: 14-28
Last meeting: Kentucky won 78-63, on Dec. 31, 2010, in Louisville.
Outlook: It will be argued, but probably should not be within the commonwealth, that Saturday's 43rd meeting with archrival Kentucky is Louisville's second-most important game this week. That's because the Cardinals play host to No. 16 Georgetown in their Big East Conference opener Wednesday night. From that point, though, the hype will hit overdrive as No. 4 Louisville prepares to take on No. 3 Kentucky in the schools' first meeting as top-five opponents. The Cardinals will enter Rupp Arena having played 11 of their 12 games at home in the KFC Yum Center. Louisville has appeared shaky in recent wins over the College of Charleston and Western Kentucky, but it has also shown toughness in victories over Vanderbilt and Memphis. Gorgui Dieng, a 6-foot-10 sophomore, is developing into a force in the middle (10.8 points, 10.2 rebounds per game). Kyle Kuric (13.3 ppg), Russ Smith (10.5) and Chris Smith (10.4) are Louisville's other top scorers, but the Cats will also need to contain playmaker Peyton Siva (9.0 points, 6.4 assists per game).