By Josh Cook
We already knew the opponent and the date, but now we know the time of the first game for the University of Louisville men's basketball team in the new KFC Yum! Center.
The Cardinals will take on Butler, last season's NCAA runner-up, at 8 p.m. Nov. 16 on ESPN as part of "College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon."
UofL-Butler will be one of 20 games broadcast on ESPN and its family of networks over a period of 25 1/2 hours.
Two other Big East men's teams (St. Johns and Villanova) and one women's team (Connecticut) will take part in the wall-to-wall marathon of college basketball.
Coach Rick Pitino will return nine lettermen from last season's 20-13 team - which marked the Cards' eighth straight 20-win season - that played the nation's 11th toughest schedule. UofL, however, did lose its top three scorers from last season - Samardo Samuels, Edgar Sosa and Jerry Smith. This year's team will be led by returnees Jared Swopshire (7.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game last season), Preston Knowles (7.2 ppg), Terrence Jennings (5.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg), Kyle Kuric (4 ppg), Peyton Siva (3.9 ppg) and Rakeem Buckles (3.8 ppg).
Butler won a school-record 33 games and had only five losses, including a 61-59 setback to Duke in the national championship game. The Bulldogs lost their best player (Gordon Hayward) from that team, though, to the NBA.
UofL's complete 2010-11 schedule hasn't been released yet. It will likely be released early in September.