Gameday Preview: Louisville at North Carolina

Time: 6:05 p.m. ET


Vegas Line: North Carolina -5.5, t140.0

Probable Lineups:

The Louisville men’s basketball team (11-4, 6-3) is on the road at North Carolina (13-7, 7-5) for a Saturday night matchup with the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill. Louisville has not played since Feb. 1, missing five straight games due to positive COVID-19 tests within the program.

UNC has lost two of its past three ACC games and is firmly on the NCAA Tournament bubble with less than a month to play. This will be a similar Carolina team to the one a year ago that lost 72-55 at the Yum! Center. The Tar Heels are a long team reliant on their defense, and are below-average in just about every offensive category besides rebounding. The duo of Garrison Brooks and Armando Bacot is among the best frontcourt pairs in the nation and will be looking to exploit the undersized forwards from Louisville.

On a day when the Cards will desperately need some interior defense, arguably its best defender over the past two years will suit up for the first time in 2021. Senior Malik Williams will make his season debut on Saturday. Last season was Malik’s best in a Louisville uniform, averaging 8.5 points and 6.3 rebounds. Offensively, he stopped taking jump shots and significantly improved his efficiency. While the counting stats were not overwhelming, his work on the other end was invaluable as he anchored the Cardinal defense. We have no idea what Malik is going to look like, or how much time he will get. If he can get back to somewhere near 100-percent, it will be a game-changing addition for Louisville.

Coming off of a three week break, Louisville will try to avoid a rusty performance on Saturday. We do not know specifically who may have been infected, or really how anyone is feeling. We know that the team had not been able to practice together much, and Coach Mack was out for a period of time as well.

Louisville is currently projected to make the NCAA Tournament just about everywhere you look. The Cards are 0-3 against the quadrant-1 and will not be able to improve its seed without at least a couple of those wins. Four out of the five remaining games on the schedule are quad-1 as of right now, including Saturday’s game in North Carolina.

Louisville is in a good place, but they are hardly locks for the big dance as things stand. A win against UNC would put them in a markedly better place entering the final two weeks of the regular season.


Louisville 63  North Carolina 61

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