The Louisville Cardinals (16-5,7-1) host the North Carolina Tar Heels (16-4,6-1) for a top 15 matchup inside the KFC Yum! Center on Saturday afternoon.
Louisville is tied for the ACC lead at 7-1. Only one of those wins so far has come by fewer than 10 points. UNC is right behind the Cards at 6-1 in the conference, with their only loss coming to Louisville at home on January 12th. Louisville is currently ranked 15th in the AP poll. North Carolina is 9th.
Louisville will look to reenact that 83-62 win over the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill three weeks ago. The Cards controlled the game inside, outrebounding North Carolina 40-31 and slowing the game down in the half court. UNC is one of the fastest teams in the country to play against; they only scored 4 points on the fast break all game. It was a game that Louisville led by 9 at the half and it was never really in doubt as the second half went on.
The Cardinals managed to keep only three Carolina players from scoring more than six points that game. It was an all around performance by Louisville. I imagine UNC will try to speed this one up. Three weeks ago there were only 71 possessions; it was the Tar Heels’ fourth slowest game all season.
Louisville has done enough for itself so far this season that this game is not a must win. Given the schedule ahead of this team, including four straight against ranked opponents, a win today would be massive heading forward.
Louisville already knows they’re capable of beating this team, now it’s all about going out and executing in front of the home crowd.
The game tips at 2:00 ET and will be broadcast live on ESPN.
Louisville 86 North Carolina 84