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Report: Louisville to Headline 2023 Empire Classic

The Cardinals were originally scheduled to take part in the 2021 iteration of the event.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - While the Louisville men's basketball program is still in the process of putting together their non-conference schedule for the upcoming 2022-23 season, their slate of games for the season after is already starting to come together.

The Cardinals are set to headline the 2023 Empire Classic, according to CBS Sports college basketball insider Jon Rothstein. They will be accompanied by the UConn Huskies, Indiana Hoosiers and Texas Longhorns.

There is no timetable for an official announcement of the event, and the matchups, dates and venue are to-be-determined, according to Rothstein.

Louisville was originally supposed to participate in the 2021 iteration of the Empire Classic, but pulled out when the event had to be moved across the Hudson River from Madison Square Garden to the Prudential Center. It was later moved again to the T-Mobile Center in Las Vegas.

The Cardinals are a combined 24-18 against the 2023 Empire Classic field, with winning records against two of the programs. Louisville holds an 11-6 record over UConn with a five-game winning streak, a 4-1 record against Texas, and barely trail Indiana in their all-time series 9-11.

Earlier this week, IU head coach Mike Woodson revealed that he was in talks with Louisville head coach Kenny Payne and the UofL administration about getting a matchup scheduled.

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"I've had the opportunity to talk to Kenny, and their AD [Josh Heird], and he promised me something in two years once Kenny got there, and maybe possibly get a game against Louisville." Woodson said. "I'll take that all day long, because I know it'll be a competitive game."

With Indiana also taking part in the 2023 Empire Classic, it seems incredibly likely that they will be matched up with Louisville in the semifinals of the event, and not UConn or Texas. It's also possible they could still get a non-conference game also on tap for the 2022-23 season.

Last season, Louisville suffered their first losing campaign in over two decades, going 13-19 and mutually separating with head coach Chris Mack midway through the season. The Cardinals hired Payne, a former national champion with Louisville as a player and longtime assistant coach at Kentucky, as their next head coach back on Mar. 18.

(Photo of Louie: Kirby Lee - USA TODAY Sports)

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