Louisville at Connecticut (+6)
No. 4 Louisville is on an impressive run and seeks its 11th consecutive victory when it visits Connecticut in Hartford on Monday. The Cardinals are one of three unbeaten teams in Big East play and are off to the program’s best start since opening 16-1 during the 2003-04 campaign. Louisville coach Rick Pitino is expecting a fierce battle with the Huskies, who notched an impressive road victory at Notre Dame on Saturday under first-year coach Kevin Ollie. “They are a terrific team,” Pitino said. “I’m really happy for them because I love their coach. He is a class young man and I knew he would do a great job.” UConn has won two consecutive games and is 8-0 on its home courts.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN.
ABOUT LOUISVILLE (15-1, 3-0 Big East): Sophomore forward Chane Behanan was a surprise participant in the victory over South Florida and grabbed 12 rebounds while scoring seven points. It was feared Behanan would miss three or four games after he sprained his left ankle on Jan. 7 but he missed just one outing. “My whole foot was swollen for three days and there’s still pain,” Behanan said. “But it’s something I could tolerate and won’t let dictate us getting out of the Top 5 in the country. I can handle the pain.” Behanan is third on the Cardinals in scoring (11.1) and second in rebounding (7.4). Junior guard Russ Smith averages a team-best 18.7 points, senior point guard Peyton Siva contributes 11.9 points and a team-best 5.8 assists and junior center Gorgui Dieng checks in at 9.6 points and 9.8 rebounds per outing.
ABOUT CONNECTICUT (12-3, 2-1 Big East): Junior forward Tyler Olander delivered a stunning performance with a career-high 16 points in the win over Notre Dame. Olander entered the contest with a 4.6 scoring average and hit 8-of-9 shots in the best effort of his career. “It’s definitely very rewarding,” said Olander, now averaging 5.3 points. “Things weren’t really working out for me at the beginning of the season. I stuck with it and kept working hard and got into the gym. It feels good to finally have hard work paying off.” Junior guard Shabazz Napier leads the Huskies with a 17.5 scoring average. Sophomore guard Ryan Boatright (16.1), sophomore forward DeAndre Daniels (11 points) and freshman guard Omar Calhoun (10.1) also average in double digits.
* Cardinals are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 road games.
* Huskies are 6-1 ATS in their last seven vs. Big East foes.
* Cardinals are 6-1 ATS in their last seven Monday games.
* Cardinals are 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings.
1. Louisville leads the series 7-6 and routed UConn 80-59 in last season’s lone meeting.
2. Siva had 17 points in Saturday’s win over South Florida to become the 64th player in school history to reach 1,000 career points. He has 1,004.
3. UConn is shooting just 32.5 percent from 3-point range with Napier (40.3) the only player shooting better than 40 percent.