After Louisville lost to Wake Forest last Wednesday, the concern over ACC tournament seeding was very real. Thanks to a bounce-back/revenge victory over Notre Dame on Senior Day, the Cardinals secured a double bye in the ACC. Duke lost to UNC, a game that had the Blue Devils won, would’ve improved Louisville to the 3-seed. Obviously, that’s not how it played out and that’s how we got here, Duke beat Clemson yesterday in a tough fought game and now two of the teams no one wants to see this time of year get to play each other today in Brooklyn at 2pm on ESPN for a Semifinal spot.
Everyone knows about Duke’s team this season, riddled with injury, attitude problems, and opponents who can’t stay on their feet. The first time Louisville and Duke met, Senior Forward Amile Jefferson was out with injury. Jefferson almost averages a double-double with 11.2 PPG and 8.6 RPG, so needless to say he brings a lot to this team, not just on the stat sheet, but with his leadership. Louisville will have to stop Luke Kennard in order to win today. The lefty scorer averages 20.1 PPG and does it efficiently and in a variety of ways, the Cards have to slow him down to win today. Of course, there’s Grayson Allen, Louisville simply needs to play solid physical defense and let him make mistakes and the rest will take care of itself.
It’s finally here, the long wait for postseason basketball in Louisville is over. While this definitely makes today more meaningful for us fans, it sets a different tone for the players. Louisville will come out motivated to show the nation what a Rick Pitino coached team looks like this time of year, in case anyone forgot. Louisville advances to the semifinal today with a statement making victory over Duke behind Donovan Mitchell’s offense and Deng Adel’s lockdown defense.
Louisville 79-Duke 71.