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Louisville at North Carolina: Pregame Breakdown

North Carolina

The No. 7 Louisville Cardinals travel to Chapel Hill for a top-10 ACC matchup with the No. 8 North Carolina Tar Heels tonight at 9pm on ESPN. The line currently stands at UNC-8, after it opened with UNC giving Louisville 5.5 points.

While the fact that both teams are in the top-10 makes for a good headline, there’s so much more to tonight’s game. The winner of tonight’s game will likely win the ACC regular season crown and a 1-seed in the NCAA tournament. Needless to say, there’s a lot on the line for both teams tonight, but the loser is in no way in bad shape either. A win in Chapel Hill will be difficult, but not impossible.

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Louisville vs Virginia Tech: Postgame Recap

(Photo Cred: William Caudill)

(Photo Cred: William Caudill)

Today’s game didn’t go according to the script for Louisville. The Cards didn’t live up to their No. 3 national ranking and No. 1 ACC ranking for 3-point defense against the hot-shooting Hokies. But the Cards won in a shootout, of all games by a score of 94-90.

Virginia Tech shot 65% from 3-point range, scored 44 points in the 1st half (the most allowed at home since 2013), and seemed to make everything they threw at the basket; however, it wasn’t enough to beat the Cards. Louisville would extend its lead and seem like they’d run away with the game then the Hokies would answer, but VTech fell a few answers short as Louisville pulled away enough late to keep their ACC title hopes alive.

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Louisville vs Virginia Tech: Pregame Breakdown

Virginia_Tech_Hokies

The No. 8 Louisville Cardinals look to keep their ACC regular season title hopes alive when the Hokies of Virginia Tech take the floor at the Yum! Center today at 1pm, the game can be seen on the ACC Network.

Virginia Tech (18-7, 7-6) enter the game today with their last two wins against Virginia in 2OT and at Pittsburgh, so the Hokies are riding a hot streak. They’re led by senior forward Zach Leday at 15.2 PPG. Other than Leday, the Hokies only floored on other positional player that wasn’t a guard against Pitt, so once again, the Cards will have to stop a guard oriented team.

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Louisville at Syracuse: Postgame Recap

Syracuse

It may have taken 5 extra minutes, but Louisville earned a big ACC road win tonight against old Big East foe, Syracuse by a score of 76-72.

The Cards battled the Orange all night after leading by double-digits in the first half, Syracuse cut the lead to 4 by halftime. The 2nd half was spent exchanging ties and leads and ultimately an unsuccessful half court heave by Quentin Snider at the buzzer pushed the game into overtime. Louisville played the entire 5-minute segment of OT without star Donovan Mitchell, who fouled out with 3:01 remaining in regulation, but a big 3 and and-1 (missed the free throw) by Ryan McMahon and some big plays and free throws by Anas Mahmoud helped the Cards outlast the Orange by a final score of 76-72.

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Louisville at Syracuse: Pregame Breakdown

Syracuse

After avoiding what would’ve been their first set of consecutive losses this season with their comeback win over Miami, Louisville travels to the Carrier Dome to take on old Big East rival Syracuse tonight at 7pm on ESPN.

Last year, Syracuse endured a suspension for Jim Boeheim, made the tournament on the bubble, and to top it all off, went to the Final Four against all odds. Many pieces are missing from that Final Four team, so many people expected Syracuse to take a step back this year. While they did at the beginning, and they’re still not where they want to be, the Orange have wins over Florida State and Virginia and sit at 8-5 in ACC play. They aren’t world beaters or favorites for the tournament (if they make it), but the Orange certainly have statements they need to make to impress the tournament committee, a win against the top-10 Cards tonight would do just that.

Syracuse is led by senior guard Andrew White III with 17.7 PPG, sophomore forward Tyler Lydon anchors the frontcourt load with 13.3 PPG and 7.8 RPG, while senior guard John Gillion facilitates the offense with 5.3 APG (ranks 4th in the ACC). Syracuse is a solid offensive team at 76.7 PPG compared to Louisville’s 77.2 PPG. However, their defense isn’t all that great (70.0 PPGA compared to Louisville’s 62.8 PPGA). Jim Boeheim’s tenure at Syracuse has been the era of the unbeatable, long, athletic 2-3 zone, but this team isn’t as defensively efficient as past teams under Boeheim.

While this is a rivalry game and these games are more unpredictable than others, I don’t see Louisville having trouble tonight. This season, when Louisville has gone up against a team whose focus is offense, Louisville has had the upper hand. Tonight will be no different. Q will continue to settle in, Deng and Mangok will build on their comeback performances, and Donovan will continue to shine tonight.

Louisville 81-Syracuse 68.

Go Cards!

Louisville vs Miami: Postgame Recap

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It may not have been pretty, the Cards may not have covered the spread, but the Louisville Cardinals bounced back from Monday’s loss and defeated the Miami Hurricanes 71-66.

With just over 10 minutes to play in the first half, Louisville found themselves in a 14-point hole. They’d go on to cut that lead in half by halftime, ending the first segment of play down 33-26. The Cardinals trailed most of the second half until a 13-0 run pushed them ahead of the Canes 61-53 with 3:59 to play. The Canes answered with an 8-0 run of their own to tie the score 61-61 with 1:56 left but a couple free throws and a big time 3 by the Louisville native Quentin Snider gave the Cards a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

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Louisville vs Miami: Pregame Breakdown

Miami logo

After nearly a week long break from Monday’s shorthanded loss at Virginia, the Cards are back in action today by hosting Miami at 2pm on ESPN.

Today, Louisville will have 3 of the 4 players they sorely missed on Monday, Quentin Snider returns from his hip injury that sidelined him for 6 games and Mangok Mathiang and Deng Adel are both back after serving their 1-game suspension for missing curfew. Tony Hicks still has some recovering to do, but the Cards are getting everyone back at the right time.

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Louisville at Virginia: Pregame Breakdown

Virginia Logo

The No. 4 Louisville Cardinals travel to Virginia to take on the No. 12 Cavaliers tonight at 7pm on ESPN, in a game that’s sure to be a low-scoring offensive struggle.

It’s no secret that Virginia has had their way with the Cards since Louisville entered the ACC. Many people go as far to say that Tony Bennett is Rick Pitino’s kryptonite when comes to these head-to-head matchups. No one fully knows why, but it’s painfully obvious Louisville struggles against the patented-Virginia Packline defense. Louisville has yet to score 60 points against Virginia during their time in the ACC and only has 1 win against the Cavaliers. Add in injuries to Quentin Snider and Tony Hicks, along with suspensions for Mangok Mathiang and Deng Adel, and now you’ve got a historically struggle of a game with only 7 scholarship players.

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Louisville At Boston College: Postgame Recap

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In yet another unpredictable day of this college basketball season, the No. 6 Louisville Cardinals remained consistent. The Cardinals traveled to Boston College and defeated the Eagles 90-67.

While play may have gotten sloppy to end the first half and open the second, the Cardinals controlled the outcome the whole way. Led by Donovan Mitchell and Deng Adel’s 19 points each, both on 7-10 shooting, another great offensive performance by Mangok Mathiang with 16 points, along with freshman V.J. King’s 11 points a Louisville victory was never in doubt.

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Louisville Basketball: Shining Through the Shade

jaylen-johnson-vs-uk

This time last year, the Louisville Cardinals were gearing up to host No. 2 and eventual National Runner-Up North Carolina. A win over the Tarheels would’ve been the signature win that team needed. They had talent, leadership, and were widely considered as one of the most enjoyable Louisville teams to watch in recent memory. All they lacked was a marquee win.

It started with an aggressive drive capped off by a thunderous one-handed slam from senior grad-student transfer and crowd favorite Damion Lee. He’d finish with a game-high 24 points, and would lead the Cardinals to their recognition-earning win. The city, fans, and team expressed their elation all night and into the next morning. Then, everything changed.

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Louisville vs NC State: Pregame Breakdown

NC State logo

After the 55-point record-setting dismantling of Pittsburgh on the road Tuesday, the No. 13 Louisville Cardinals return home to welcome the Wolfpack and star player Dennis Smith Jr. today at 1pm in the Yum! Center, the game can be seen on the ACC Network. Louisville is currently a 13.5-point favorite over the Wolfpack.

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Louisville at Pittsburgh: Pregame Breakdown

Pitt

After a tough loss Saturday on the road to the now No. 6 Florida State Seminoles, the now No. 13 Louisville Cardinals travel to Pittsburgh for another ACC road test. The game starts at 7pm tonight and can be seen on ESPNU.

Louisville has seen Pittsburgh once already this season, a game that the Cardinals handled easily but a late Pitt surge made the score closer than the game actually was. Louisville won that game 85-80, but led by double digits for 75% of the game. That win gave Louisville its 9th straight over the Panthers, tonight they’ll look to extend that streak to double digits.

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Louisville vs Florida State: Postgame Recap

Florida State

The No. 12 Louisville Cardinals suffered their 4th loss of the season today to No. 10 Florida State on the road by a score of 73-68.

In a game in which the Cardinals never led, Louisville squandered virtually every opportunity it had to take control of the game. Tony Hicks scored 16 points and while his last shot wasn’t a good one, fans desperately need to relax with their criticism of the grad-student’s play today. Hicks was the only consistent offense the Cards had all game, aside from Mangok Mathiang who added 13 points and 13 rebounds.

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Louisville vs Florida State: Pregame Breakdown

INDIANAPOLIS - MARCH 29: The mascot for the Louisville Cardinals performs against the Michigan State Spartans during the fourth round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Lucas Oil Stadium on March 29, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS – MARCH 29: The mascot for the Louisville Cardinals performs against the Michigan State Spartans during the fourth round of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament at the Lucas Oil Stadium on March 29, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The No. 12 Louisville Cardinals travel to Tallahassee to face the No. 10 Florida State Seminoles today at 2pm on ESPN. Today’s game marks the end of a 6-game stretch against top-25 ranked opponents, a stretch that the Seminoles have taken advantage of with a record of 4-1 with the lone loss coming at UNC after FSU throttled Duke 88-72.

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Louisville vs Duke: Postgame Recap

CSZWhite

The No. 14 Louisville Cardinals defeated the No. 7 Duke Blue Devils today by a final score of 78-69. If you watched the entire game then you know the score doesn’t exactly reflect just how dominant the Cards were today. After a back and forth beginning to the game, the Cardinals appeared to settle in and capitalize on the stout defense they had been playing by connecting on a few shots, and more importantly, building confidence.

Louisville entered halftime with a 4-point lead, lead for nearly 75% of the game, and never allowed Duke to get into a rhythm from the 8 minute mark of the first half, on. It was a balanced effort from the Cardinals, Anas Mahmoud recorded a career high of 17 points to go along with 11 rebounds, Donovan Mitchell added 15 points, Quentin Snider chipped in 13 with 6 assists and 5 rebounds, and Ray Spalding scored 11 points, as well.

This win was huge for the Cardinals now, and going forward. Anas Mahmoud continues to look better each game and he dominated today. A 2-0 week to build on when the Cards play Clemson on Thursday at 9pm at the Yum! Center. The game can be watched on ESPN.

Go Cards! 

Louisville vs Pittsburgh: Pregame Breakdown

Pitt

The No. 14 Louisville Cardinals host one of their old Big East rivals in the Pittsburgh Panthers (12-4) tonight at the KFC Yum! Center at 7PM on the ACC Network. Despite the one win/loss differential in the teams’ records (Louisville 13-3, Pittsburgh 12-4), the Cardinals currently stand as 11-point favorites for tonight’s game.

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Louisville at Georgia Tech: Pregame Breakdown

Georgia Tech

After suffering their third loss of the season Wednesday, the 9th ranked Cardinals (12-3) travel to Georgia Tech (9-5). The game will tip off at 2pm and can be seen on the ACC Network. The Yellowjackets beat UNC by 12, then turned around and dropped their next game against Duke 110-57, which makes the UNC game appear to be more of an outlier than the 53-point thrashing Duke handed them. All that considered, the Cards stand as 13-point favorites right now, in a road ACC game that they desperately need to win in order to avoid going 0-3 to start conference play.

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Louisville vs Notre Dame: Postgame Breakdown

Notre Dame

The No. 9 Louisville Cardinals suffered their 3rd loss of the season on the road at No. 23 Notre Dame, by a score of 77-70. The Cardinals started slow, but appeared to shake off the rust at times; however, they never put together consistent stretches of play and in the end it doomed the Cardinals.

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Louisville vs Notre Dame: Pregame Breakdown

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Notre Dame

After last week’s 1-1 record with a home loss to then No. 12 Virginia and a neutral-site win over then No. 16 Indiana, the Louisville Cardinals dropped 3 spots to No. 9 in the country.

Now, Louisville looks to stay hot after it’s bounce-back victory over Indiana, in the Cards’ first road test in the ACC when they take on No. 23 Notre Dame. The Irish are currently 1-point favorites over the higher ranked Cardinals, the game can be watched on the ACC Network.

Bonzie Colson is the leading scorer and rebounder for the Fighting Irish. The “undersized” forward averages 16.6 PPG and 10.5 RPB. The Cards length in the frontcourt will be a large factor in slowing Colson down.

Louisville and Notre Dame have such a weird tradition of putting the fans through added stress by sending games into overtime. The Cards last loss in the 2013 Championship season came on the road in 5 overtimes (Big East Record for regular season games), the craziest part about it was the end to regulation. Jerian Grant led an improbable come back by scoring 13 points in 58 seconds to force OT. I digress, the point is, this game will go one of two ways: the Cards will handle business against an inferior team and develop that killer instinct only the 2013 team truly had, or this game will be weird, very weird. I’m hoping for option one, but my gut tells me option two is more likely. Louisville hasn’t won at Notre Dame since 1994 (that game also went to overtime, shocker) but it’s not known as a difficult place to play, these games are just..I’ll say it again, weird. Tonight the Cards win in South Bend for the first time in 23 years by a score of 88-83 in overtime.

Go Cards!

Louisville vs Virginia: Postgame Recap

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The No. 6 Louisville Cardinals continued their struggles against Virginia with a 61-53 loss to the No. 12 ranked Cavaliers tonight inside the Yum! Center. Like all Louisville vs Virginia games, Louisville looked lost and then appeared to find their groove but not before it was too late.

The Cards entered halftime down 15 points, outscored Virginia 32-25 in the second half and looked better but it wasn’t enough to overcome the first half deficit. No Cardinals scored in double-figures tonight, Snider 8, Adel 8, Hicks 8, Mitchell 7, King 6.

Thankfully for Louisville, they won’t face Virginia again until February 6th, which will hopefully allow for Rick Pitino to find some answers against the patented pack-line Virginia defense. Up next, the Cards face Indiana (also lost their conference home opener tonight to Nebraska) in Indianapolis on Saturday the 31st. That game will not be anything like the one we saw tonight.

Minor setback, Virginia may have lost some scoring off last year’s team, but they clearly did not lose their defensive edge, which has been the staple of all great Virginia teams. Coming off a win like last Wednesday’s, a letdown is possible but hopefully avoided. It was not avoided tonight. Look for the Cards to bounce back on Saturday against the Hoosiers.

Go Cards!