From No. 1 in the country to the verge of its longest losing streak in nearly nine years, Louisville has coach Rick Pitino declaring Monday night's home contest with Pittsburgh a must-win.
The Cardinals (16-4, 4-3 Big East) beat Connecticut 73-58 in their first game as the nation's top-ranked team Jan. 14 before falling 70-68 at home to then-No. 6 Syracuse on Jan. 19.
They proceeded to fall at Villanova 73-64 on Tuesday prior to Saturday's 53-51 loss at Georgetown.
Louisville hasn't lost four straight since Feb. 12-25, 2004, and it hasn't lost four straight Big East games since joining the conference in 2005-06.
"We have to get this win. It's a must game for us,'' Pitino said. "Because four (losses in a row), now you're on the verge of getting a sub-.500 record in the league, and you don't want to mess with that.''
Pitino already made a change to his lineup Saturday, starting Luke Hancock in place of leading scorer Russ Smith.
Smith, averaging 18.4 points, came off the bench f...