Florida State handed the Louisville men’s basketball team its first loss of the conference season on Saturday night in Tallahassee by a score of 79-70. Louisville drops to 10-5 overall and 4-1 in the ACC. Florida State now sits at 8-5 and 2-2. This is Florida State’s fifth straight win in the series.
Final: Florida State 79, Louisville 70
— Louisville Basketball (@LouisvilleMBB) January 9, 2022
El Ellis led Louisville with 14 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists. Samuell Williamson added 13 points and 7 rebounds. Mason Faulkner was also in double digits with 12 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists for the Cards.
For Florida State, Caleb Mills led all scorers with 27 points and 4 rebounds. Matthew Cleveland had 17 points and 5 rebounds for the Noles. No other player was in double figures for FSU.
Louisville and Florida State were back and forth for the majority of the first half before the Seminoles won the final segment 15-7, taking a 50-40 lead into the half.
Out of the break, both teams struggled offensively, with Louisville going more than five minutes without scoring to start the half. The Cards trailed by 14 before the under-16 timeout in the second half. They were able to get the deficit to two points multiple times in the final six minutes, but ultimately did not lead in the second half. Florida State pulled away in the final three minutes.
The main takeaway from this game is that Louisville should be expected to compete in just about every ACC contest over the next two months. Florida State has completely owned Chris Mack since his arrival in 2018. They held a 14-point lead early in the second half and somehow the Cards still managed to have every chance in the end to win it. You could argue it is a game they absolutely should have won.
It is quite frustrating to see this team play so inconsistently this far into the season. Many of the problems from early on in the season have not yet been solved. The results had been covering that up a bit over the past two weeks, but now Louisville is somewhat back to where it was before Christmas. No one knows if this team can be good or not, and there is not much time for them to prove it to us. At this point, you just have to expect the offense to struggle on a nightly basis. The defense continues to prove that it is good enough to keep Louisville in just about every game. Aside from that, there are not many conclusions that can be made about this team moving forward.
Whether or not Louisville is good enough to make the NCAA tournament is still completely up in the air. What we do know is that the ACC is historically bad. There is only one team that should legitimately scare you if you are Chris Mack. Losing on the road in conference play is nothing to worry about in the long term. Louisville is 5-1 in the ACC with a long list of teams on the schedule that they are more than capable of beating. Time will tell if they can take advantage of the opportunity.
Louisville is back at home on Wednesday night for a 9:00 p.m. ET tipoff with NC State on ACC Network.