LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Louisville coach Rick Pitino says the team's 2008-09 schedule may be the team's most difficult since he began coaching the Cardinals.
The Cardinals will play 12 teams that made the NCAA tournament a year ago, though they'll get most of those games within the friendly confines of Freedom Hall.
The schedule, released on Thursday, features out-of-conference games against Kentucky, Western Kentucky, UNLV, Mississippi and Minnesota.
The Cardinals will host the Wildcats in their annual showdown on Jan. 4, their last game before heading into their Big East schedule. Louisville will play West Virginia, Notre Dame and South Florida twice, and the remaining members of the conference once.
Louisville returns four starters from a team that went 27-9 last season, losing to North Carolina in the regional finals of the NCAA Tournament.
Louisville opens the season on Nov. 22 against Morehead State, and will wrap up the regular season on the road at West Virginia on March 7.
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