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College basketball: Louisville seeks to avoid letdown vs. Providence

Published January 2, 2013 10:52 am

College basketball • Cardinals had "embarrassing" loss to Friars last year.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Louisville, Ky. • Louisville coach Rick Pitino isn't worried about a letdown after the big victory over Kentucky.

That's because the No. 4 Cardinals (12-1) have something to prove in Wednesday's Big East opener against Providence (8-4).

Louisville's 90-59 loss at Providence last January was the Cardinals' worst of the season. Pitino credits the Friars for playing well in that game while adding that nothing went right for Louisville in an "embarrassing" loss.

On Saturday, Louisville beat Kentucky 80-77. Now the Cardinals must put state rivalries aside and shift their attention to the most important part of the season — the 18-game conference schedule.

"We're thrilled because we played a great first half but disappointed in the way we executed in the second half, and we're going to learn from victory with that," Pitino said Tuesday of beating Kentucky.

"We think the league is much more important. It's going to determine where you are at the end of the year. Beating Kentucky, we're delighted for our fans but we didn't give any postgame speech because of mistakes we made at crucial times. The Providence game is very big, so I don't think that [letdown] will happen at all."

Especially since many areas are a work in progress for the Cardinals, the defending conference tournament champions.