Some questions as the University of Louisville basketball team meets Pittsburgh again Wednesday at the KFC Yum! Center. It’s second meeting between the teams this season, UofL winning the first game at Pittsburgh 80-68.

— Can UofL find its shooting eye again and match the 65.6% it had at Pittsburgh? Highly doubtful. The Cardinals have averaged 43.6% from the floor this season. As a result, this will be a much closer game.

David Levitch before and after the rally beard phase.
David Levitch before and after the rally beard phase of UofL’s season.

–Have the Panthers got their act together? Pitt has won three consecutive games, including one over Notre Dame. All three wins came at the Peterson Events Center in Pittsburgh where the Panthers have won 90% of the time. They are 16-8 this season, 1-5 on the road.

— Will Rick Pitino still have his beard? This question has already been answered. He showed up his press conference Tuesday freshly shaven. with no mention of stubble or facial hair. The end of the rally beard, not exactly an innovative or inspiring approach, was predictable from the start.

— Who will start at center? Chinanu Onuaku, the player who looks the part but doesn’t seem to get it, Mangok Mathiang, who brings energy but goes all fumbly when he get the ball, or Anas Mahmoud, the player has gained 18 pounds since the season began but still needs 20 more to hold his ground? The guess here is Mahmoud because, despite his thinness, has a better feel for the game of basketball.

— Will any UofL center get any points? If a big man scores, it will be Mangok but the ball will bounce a couple of times and circle the rim before going through the net.

— Will any UofL reserve score? They haven’t had a basket in some 88 minutes of action. Yes, because Pitino will have invested some hours in setting up special plays for them. He getting tired of answering questions about the bench. The over and under is six points.

— Will David Levitch get in the game? Highly doubtful Pitino seems to have forgotten about him. He has played in only ACC game, the win over Virginia Tech on Jan. 13. He did score, however, making both of his free throw attempts. Points off the bench, not bad.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.