The Louisville and UConn women’s basketball teams are set for a huge nonconference game on Thursday, Jan. 31 that will have rankings and NCAA tournament seeding ramifications. Below, find the game time, TV channel, prediction and preview information.

Connecticut is 18-1 and ranked No. 2, while Louisville is 19-1 and No. 3 in the polls. UConn is 17-1 all-time vs. the Cardinals.

UConn-Louisville: Time, TV channel

Louisville will host UConn from the KFC Yum! Center at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, Jan. 31. The game can be watched on ESPN.

UConn-Louisville: Prediction, preview

1993.

That’s the last — and only time — Louisville beat the UConn women’s basketball team. On March 17, 1993, Louisville beat the Huskies 74-71. UConn has a winning streak of 17 against the Cardinals.

That only Louisville win came before UConn’s and head coach Geno Auriemma’s 11 national titles. But it also came well before Jeff Waltz guided the Cardinals to three Final Fours and two title game appearances (losing both to UConn).

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Last year, UConn won at home 69-58. This time, the Cardinals get former Big East rival Connecticut at the KFC Yum! Center.

Louisville (19-1 overall, 7-1 ACC) has won five in a row since falling to then-No. 1 Notre Dame on Jan. 10 in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown. Senior Asia Durr continues to be the star, averaging 21.1 points per game.

UConn (18-1, 7-0 American Athletic Conference) has won its last seven since falling to now No. 1 Baylor on Jan. 3, 68-57. Katie Lou Samuelson and Napheesa Collier both average more than 18 points per game. Earlier this month, Samuelson reached 3,000 points in her career, becoming only the 10th Connecticut player to reach the milestone.

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Here’s the statistical breakdown:

UConn Statistic Louisville
No. 2 AP ranking No. 3
18-1 Record 19-1
81.9 PPG 80.2
Geno Auriemma
1045-137
Coach record Jeff Waltz
313-96
+28.5 Scoring margin 20.7
.490 FG percentage .484
.354 3-point percentage .379
.334 FG percentage defense .370
.259 3-point percentage defense .273
41.9 Rebounds per game 36.8
+7.1 Rebounding margin +2.2
19.3 Assists per game 16.7
11.6 Turnovers per game 13.8
7.8 Steals per game 9.4
3.7 Blocks per game 4.3
Katie Lou Samuelson (18.8) Scoring leader Asia Durr (21.1)
Napheesa Collier (10.0) Rebounding leader Sam Fuehring and Kylee Shook (6.2)
Crystal Dangerfield (5.7) Assists leader Dana Evans (3.8)

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On paper, UConn has been more statistically dominant. But Louisville’s Durr has the ability to take over a game in crunch time, should the Cardinals be in position for a late-winner. That’s how UConn lost in the NCAA tournament in each of the last two years to Mississippi State and Notre Dame.

Durr rested in Sunday’s 70-42 win against Pitt, so fatigue shouldn’t be a factor. But Louisville will have to do better in keeping possession of the ball. The Cardinals had 18 turnovers against the Panthers, so unless Louisville can hit shots at a ridiculously high rate, it must protect the ball.

Louisville will have the home edge, giving the Cardinals some added confidence if it’s close late. However, UConn might be just a little too much to conquer.

But if things break a certain way, these ex-Big East foes might meet later this season anyway in the Final Four, or even for the national title. So this game might only be Part I. At least for now, UConn is the slightly better team.

Prediction: UConn 82, Louisville 74

 

 

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