The No. 7 Louisville Cardinals went blow for blow for the first 24 minutes of the game on the road against the No. 8 North Carolina Tar Heels. Sadly, college basketball games last 40 minutes and in order to beat a great team on the road, the Cardinals have to match the intensity they exhibited for the first 24 minutes for an entire game. Louisville fell to the Tar Heels 74-63.
Louisville tied the game up early in the second half at 43, after trailing by 3 at halftime. After that, it was like a team we hadn’t seen before. I know Virginia struggles are real, but I always saw 100% focus and intensity, tonight that was absent for the closing 16 minutes of the game. Louisville was led by Donovan Mitchell with 21 points. No other Louisville player scored double digits.
Up next, Louisville hosts Syracuse on Sunday at 2pm on CBS. The Orange defeated Duke tonight on a buzzer beater 3, which allows the Cards to remain in 2nd place with the tie breaker. It was a tough loss, but it’s one the team can learn from and use going forward. I’m still just as sold on this team as I was before tonight, one loss doesn’t diminish this team’s spotlight.
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.
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.
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.
Head Coach Rick Pitino
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.
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.
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.
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.
The No. 6 Louisville Cardinals travel to Boston, Massachusetts to take on the Eagles of Boston College today at 3 on the ACC Network. Boston College appeared to be heading in the right direction from last year’s abysmal season, but have dropped 6 games in a row entering today.
Boston College (9-14) is led by Sophomore guard Jerome Robinson at 19.7 PPG. The Eagles will need a big performance from him if they want any chance at beating the Cards today.
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.
Here are the highlights and Pressers after todays 85-60 win over NCST.
Coach Rick Pitino
The No. 13 Louisville Cardinals took care of business today by handling the NC State Wolfpack a 25-point loss with a final score of 85-60.
Louisville took the lead 11-9 with 16:35 left in the 1st half and never looked back. Donovan Mitchell led the Cards in scoring with 28 points, rebounds with 8, and assists with 5. Mangok Mathiang continued his impressive play off the bench with 14 points. Deng Adel added 10 points and VJ King chipped in 9 points to go along with 7 rebounds.
It was an all-around impressive effort from the Cards today. They held Dennis Smith Jr. to 8 points (11.6 below his season average of 19.6 PPG). They moved the ball well, hounded the Wolfpack on defense, and asserted their dominance.
In a week of upsets and wild finishes, the Cards went 2-0 with wins by 55 and 25 points. With all the teams up top that lost this week, the Cards could make an appearance in the top-5 when the new rankings are released.
Up next, Louisville travels to Boston College for a 3pm game on Saturday, the game can be seen on the ACC Network.
If you say you called Louisville winning in a blowout tonight, you’d be correct. If you said Louisville would beat Pittsburgh on the road by 55 points, you’d be lying.
No one could have foreseen tonight’s outcome. Louisville has had their way with Pittsburgh for the 10th time in a row after tonight’s win. But tonight, the Cardinals beat Pittsburgh in a way they had NEVER done before. Without their starting point guard, Quentin Snider, Louisville put together its best team performance of the season, on the road against a solid Pittsburgh team. The Cards shot 58% from the field, 54.5% from 3-point range (12-22), assisted on 24 of the 39 made shots, allowed only 13 made field goals on 51 attempts, and most impressively outrebounded Pittsburgh 48-26 en route to a 106 to 51 thumping of Pittsburgh on their home court.
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.
Highlights from the ACC Digital Network:
Head Coach Rick Pitino
After a very good week of games for the now No. 12 Louisville Cardinals, the Cardinals were bitten by the injury bug. Quentin Snider suffered a hip injury in the Duke game but finished the game, it was released Monday that he will miss the next 2-3 weeks due to the injury. Still, the Cardinals notched a win against then No. 7 Duke on Saturday and a win against Pitt on Wednesday pushing the Cards to 15-3 (3-2 in ACC).
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.
After falling 77-70 on Wednesday to Notre Dame, the No. 9 Cardinals bounced back with a solid road victory over Georgia Tech by a score of 65-50.
It was an ugly game and aside from a late push by the Yellow Jackets, the Cardinals controlled the whole way. Donovan Mitchell led the Cards with 20 points, Quentin Snider had 12 points and 7 assists, Anas Mahmoud chipped in 10 points and added an assortment of blocks as well, and Ray Spalding owned the boards for the Cards by grabbing 12 rebounds.
It wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t entirely impressive, but the Cards got their first conference win and their first conference road win by 15 points. Deng Adel was injured during the first half when he took a knee to the head and walked off with help and what appeared to be a concussion (which the commentator believed was “nothing but hurt feelings”). Donovan Mitchell had his 3rd straight 20+ point game and did it with his long-range shot. Anas continues to be an enforcer, and Quentin is running the offense with minimal turnovers. Hopefully Deng doesn’t miss much time because the ACC is a grind this year and there are no easy wins. However, the Cards took a step in the right direction with their win today.
Up next, the Cards host Pittsburgh on Wednesday at 7pm, the game can be seen on the ACC Network.
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.