LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The 2021-22 college basketball season was a very forgettable one for Louisville fans. The Cardinals went just 13-19 on the year, suffering their first losing season in over decades, and mutually parting ways with head coach Chris Mack midway through the season.
But, there is hope on the horizon. With Kenny Payne coming in and taking over as the head man in charge, there has been a surge of interest surrounding the program. Year one might be a bit rocky at times, but most fans believe that Payne is the guy to eventually help guide the Cardinals back to national relevancy.
Speaking of year one, who exactly will Louisville be playing on their non-conference schedule for the 2022-23 season? While UofL has yet to officially announce it, we can piece it together based on what has been previously reported.
Teams are currently permitted to play up to 31 regular season games, and 29 if they do not participate in a multi-team event, or MTE. With the ACC sporting a 20-game conference slate, the Cardinals have 11 slots for non-conference opponents during the regular season. Out of those 11, eight have been filled.
Louisville will be tipping off the Kenny Payne era with a home matchup against Bellarmine on Wednesday, Nov. 9. This will be just the second time that the Cardinals will face a Scott Davenport-coached Knights team, after Louisville won 76-64 in 2006.
The next reported home game will come roughly a week late against Appalachian State on Tuesday, Nov. 15. After the Cardinals return from the Maui Invitational in mid-November, they'll host Maryland on Tuesday, Nov. 29 as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The final home non-conference game is currently known at this time is against Western Kentucky on Wednesday, Dec. 14.
Let's double back to the Maui Invitational. Louisville will travel to Hawaii on Nov. 21-23, playing three games over those three days. While UofL's opening opponent has yet to be unveiled, whomever they face won't be an easy out. The rest of the eight-team field includes Arizona, Arkansas, Cincinnati, Creighton, Ohio State, San Diego State and Texas Tech. Four of those teams are projected to be top-25 squads.
So far, Louisville just has one reported road game, but it's a big one. As always, capping off the non-conference schedule will be the Battle of The Bluegrass against Kentucky, with this year's rivalry matchup taking place at Rupp Arena on New Year's Eve.
There is one matchup to potentially keep an eye on. Floyd Street's Finest's Jeff Greer reported that Louisville is contractually obligated to “make reasonable efforts” to play Murray State by the 2023-24 season, so that could be scheduled this year.
It was originally reported by Bracketeer.org's Rocco Miller that Louisville and Oklahoma State would square off in the 2022 Armed Forces Classic at Marine Corps Base Camp in Lejeune, North Carolina. However, Miller later reported that the event is now off for the upcoming season, but that Louisville does have “an active agreement to play the game on a future date.”
For those wanting to see either Indiana or Memphis added to this year's schedule, don't bet on it. While Payne said that he wants to play a "national schedule," he also added that it's probably best to wait until he gets a more competitive roster.
Heading into the final weekend of June, here is how Louisville's non-conference schedule currently stands:
- Bellarmine (Wednesday, Nov. 9)
- Appalachian State (Tuesday, Nov. 15)
- vs. Opponent TBD (Maui Invitational - Monday, Nov. 21)
- vs. Opponent TBD (Maui Invitational - Tuesday, Nov. 22)
- vs. Opponent TBD (Maui Invitational - Wednesday, Nov. 23)
- Maryland (ACC/Big Ten Challenge - Tuesday, Nov. 29)
- Western Kentucky (Wednesday, Dec. 14)
- at Kentucky (Saturday, Dec. 31)
(Photo of El Ellis: Scott Utterback - Courier Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK)
You can follow Louisville Report for future coverage by liking us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:
You can also follow Deputy Editor Matthew McGavic at @Matt_McGavic on Twitter