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Updated: Saturday, February 8, 2003 11:17 AM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL PREVIEW
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No. 6 Louisville (17-1) at Houston (6-12)
LOUISVILLE CARDINALS
Louisville Cardinals
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HOUSTON COUGARS
Houston Cougars
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HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Sixth-ranked Louisville tries to extend the nation's longest winning streak to 17 games when it opens a three-game road trip at Conference USA foe Houston at Hofheinz Pavilion on Saturday.

Louisville (17-1, 7-0 C-USA American Division), which possesses the nation's best winning percentage, has not lost since an 86-84 setback against Purdue in the John Wooden Tradition on November 30.

On Wednesday, the Cardinals forced 22 turnovers, blocked eight shots and collected nine steals en route to defeating Cincinnati at home, 77-71.

Francisco Garcia matched a school record by nailing eight 3-pointers and finished with a career-high 24 points.

Louisville is off to its best start since beginning the 1955-56 season at 19-1. That team finished 26-3 and won the NIT title.

The Cardinals' 16-game winning streak is their longest since closing the 1985-86 season with 17 straight wins, including the NCAA Tournament championship game.

Houston (6-12, 4-3 National) had won three straight games before falling to Tulane on Tuesday, 65-58.

Jarrett Sidney scored a career-high 11 points and reserve Cedrick Hensley added 10 but they were the only players to reach double figures for the Cougars, who are co-leaders in the National Division with Memphis and UAB.

Louisville lead the all-time series with Houston, 11-4, and is 6-0 at home. The Cardinals have won six straight and nine of 10 in the series.


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