Just the simple mention of No. 8 Louisville coming to town stretched the smile on Chucky Jeffery's face to its limit.
"We're excited. We're ready to go," Colorado's senior point guard said.
Jeffery and the undefeated Buffaloes (8-0) will host the Cardinals (9-1) today at 7 p.m. at Coors Events Center in what should be one of the most entertaining games fans have seen in Boulder in a long time.
"We think it's going to be a lot of fun," CU head coach Linda Lappe said.
It's the first time a top-10 team has visited CU in non-conference play since No. 2 LSU came to town on Nov. 27, 2004. No wonder the Buffs have been eager for this one.
"We came in (Wednesday) and came in today with extra pep in our step knowing that it was our next game coming up," Jeffery said. "We came into practice ready to go like it was game day."
Friday night is sure to be CU's toughest challenge in what has been a solid schedule to this point. Louisville's only loss came against rival Kentucky, which is ranked No. 7, and the Cardinals missed a last-second shot to lose by just one.
Louisville is a defensive-minded team that is holding opponents to just 49.4 points a game. The Cardinals have held seven opponents under 50 points, including Kentucky and No. 23 Texas A&M.
"It'll be a battle on both ends," said Lappe, whose team is allowing just 56.4 points per game. "We're hoping we're one of the better defensive teams that they've faced at the same time as them being one of the better defensive and offensive teams that we've faced."
This, of course, isn't CU's first opportunity to take down a ranked opponent. CU is 2-5 against ranked teams under Lappe, including 2-2 at home. The Buffs beat No. 17 Iowa State and No. 16 Oklahoma two seasons ago.
Colorado does come into the game with a 23-game losing streak against top-10 teams, though. The last win against a top-10 team came on March 23, 2002, when the 12th-ranked Buffs defeated No. 5 Stanford. Lappe was a junior on that team.
Jeffery is 0-6 against top-10 teams during her career at CU. She said this time feels different, however.
"In some of the years before we've not necessarily matched up well," she said. "Now I feel like we match up well, player to player, with them. We have the tools, we have the scout, we have the game plan. We have all the necessities to come out and play a great game."
Lappe agrees that her Buffs are better prepared for this type of game than they were in previous years. In fact, she said they're better prepared than they were just a few weeks ago.
"I wouldn't want to play Louisville in the second or third game, but I feel like now our young players have some experience and we're as ready as we're going to be," Lappe said.
She also feels that past experiences have helped the older Buffs get ready for this game.
"We feel prepared because we have a good nucleus of veteran players that have played top-25 teams, that have beaten Iowa State and Oklahoma at home," she said. "We feel like we have pretty good leadership and they know what it takes to do that."
Of course, Louisville feels the same way. There are good reasons the Cardinals are ranked among the nation's elite.
The Cardinals probably don't view this as a huge game, but for the Buffs, this is a great opportunity.
"It's a big deal," Jeffery said. "Obviously there is no pressure on us. We just want to come out and play a great game. It's all opportunity. The pressure is on them. They're ranked, they have the number. It's a great opportunity and we want to come out and take full advantage for it. We couldn't ask for a better position right now than where we are."
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FRIDAY: The Colorado Buffaloes (8-0) host the No. 8 Louisville Cardinals (9-1) in a 7 p.m. game at Coors Events Center in Boulder.
BROADCAST: Radio -- KKZN (760 AM), with Mike Rice on play-by-play. Online -- Pac-12.com.
STORYLINES: CU is enjoying just the fourth 8-0 start in program history. ... The Buffs have won 21 consecutive regular season non-conference games and are 28-4 in those games under head coach Linda Lappe. ... CU is one of just 11 undefeated teams in Division I. ... CU is 10-42 all-time against teams ranked in the Top 8. ... The Buffs are 5-52 in their last 57 games against ranked opponents. ... The last time an unranked CU team defeated a top-10 team was on Jan. 11, 1997, against No. 7 Texas Tech. ... Both teams rank among the nation's best in rebounding margin. CU grabs an average of 14.6 more rebounds per game than its opponents, while Louisville is plus-9.5. ... CU's director of basketball operations, Jenni Benningfield, and former Buffs coach Ceal Barry are both Louisville natives. ... As of Thursday afternoon, nearly 4,000 tickets have been distributed.
KEY STAT: The key number for CU could be 50. Louisville has held seven of 10 opponents under 50 points, going 6-1 in those games. CU is 1-9 during Lappe's tenure when held under 50 points. The only win came against Villanova in last season's Women's NIT.
COACHES: Linda Lappe is 47-30 in her third season at CU and 97-66 overall. Jeff Walz is 128-57 in his sixth season at Louisville and for his career.
PROBABLE STARTERS: Colorado -- G Chucky Jeffery, 5-10, Sr. (11.0 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 4.0 apg); G Brittany Wilson, 5-7, Jr. (9.5 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.9 spg); G Jasmine Sborov, 6-1, So. (5.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg); F Arielle Roberson, 6-1, Fr. (16.5 ppg, 6.1 rpg); C Rachel Hargis, 6-4, Jr. (5.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg). Louisville -- G Shoni Schimmel, 5-9, Jr. (12.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 4.3 apg); G Megan Deines, 6-1, Fr. (7.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg); G Antonita Slaughter, 6-1, Jr. (5.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.4 apg); F Sara Hammond, 6-2, So. (11.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg); F Shawnta' Dyer, 6-1, So. (6.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.2 apg).
SERIES: This is the first meeting between the teams. CU is 12-9 against teams currently in the Big East Conference.
UP NEXT: CU hosts Utah Valley on Dec. 22.