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The Cardinals clobbered Morehead State 74-54 in the first round of the 2009 NCAA tournament in Dayton after leading by just two points (35-33) at halftime.

“We were up two (at halftime) the last time we played them with two lottery picks (Terrence Williams and Earl Clark) and the (tournament’s overall) No. 1 seed,” Pitino said. “They’re a much better team now because their better players are seniors and we’re not as good as that team and we understand that, from a physical standpoint.”

A couple of years ago the two coaching staffs traded notes and ideas.

“Their defensive system is as close to ours as any other basketball team, they’re almost twins,” Pitino said. “Now their offense is a lot different than ours, but defensively we’re twins.

“They’ve got great talent, great experience and we have ourselves one tough ball game.”