After suffering their first loss to an unranked opponent, No. 8 Louisville will look to cool down the red-hot Fighting Irish today at home in the Yum! Center. No. 19 Notre Dame has won 6 straight heading into today’s contest and won the first meeting between these two teams in South Bend earlier in the season. Louisville is coming off a tough road loss to Wake Forest and needs a victory today to secure a double-bye in the ACC tournament. The game tips off at 2pm and can be seen on CBS.
Notre Dame is led by Forward Bonzie Colson at 16.9 PPG and 10.6 RPG. Colson is a solid candidate for ACC Player of the Year and is a tough man to stop when he gets going. Junior Guard Matt Farrell averages 14.3 PPG and 5.4 APG and had a very good/lucky game the first time these two teams met. V.J. Beachem has the most NBA talent of anyone on Notre Dame’s roster, the 6’8″ forward plays like a guard, averages 15.4 PPG and will be a focal point for Rick Pitino’s defense today.
We’ve brushed aside the Pitino criticism of his team’s defense for too long. While I’m not in panic mode like 75% of the Louisville fan base, I do know that there needs to be a sense of urgency on the defensive side that we haven’t seen in awhile. This team can be very good and is one of 5-6 teams in the nation that can win the national title, but not without defense. Rick always finds answers this time of year, today he will calm the worries the CardNation and show the country why Louisville will be a team no one wants in their bracket.
It’s also senior day, thank you to 12th year senior Mangok Mathiang, David Levitch, and Grad-Transfer Tony Hicks for your time, efforts and successful careers. Best of luck for everything to come after basketball and beyond.
Louisville 80-Notre Dame 67.