After starting the season with a 14-0 record, the Cardinals have experienced significant growing pains against ranked competition. Louisville enters today having lost eight of their last 13 games, and are currently unranked on D1baseball.com after spending nearly five years as a mainstay in the polls.
The Cardinals will look to rebound against two ranked teams this week; Louisville travels to Lexington today for a big rivalry showdown with Kentucky, then hosts #8 NC State in a home series. It’s a big opportunity for a young Louisville team that has yet to get a ranked series win and is looking to reestablish some momentum.
How to Watch: Kickoff at 8:00, ESPN
Spread: Louisville -4.5 (O/U 66), per Bovada
Last Time: Lamar Jackson threw for 355 yards and three touchdowns, while #7 Louisville rolled to a 54-13 win over the Wolfpack. Cole Hikutini led all Louisville receivers with six catches for 118 yards and a touchdown. Louisville’s defense forced three interceptions, while the Cardinals rolled to a 44-0 halftime lead.
Louisville leads the all-time series 6-1, winning all three games since joining the ACC.
Meet the NC State Wolfpack:
After a disastrous loss against South Carolina to open the season, the Wolfpack have since rebounded to win four straight. This includes a road win at Florida State, their first win over a ranked opponent since 2012.
Many pegged them as a dark horse for the ACC this season. After taking down Florida State in Tallahassee, head coach Dave Doeren sees an opportunity to put themselves in the mix. The fifth-year coach has taken the Wolfpack to three straight bowl games, winning two of them. Doeren also led Northern Illinois to an Orange Bowl appearance in 2012, as well as back-to-back MAC championships.
Before tomorrow night’s game at North Carolina State, CSZ had the opportunity to sit down with Red and White Podcast’s Evan Roberts. You can follow him on Twitter (@ER) and his podcast (@redwhitepodcast). Red and White Podcast is also available on Stitcher, Soundcloud and on redwhitepodcast.com.
JK: Most media members had NC State labeled as a dark horse for the ACC this year. Those expectations were tempered initially with the opening loss to South Carolina. Has it been in the discussion again, after winning on the road at Florida State?
ER: The hype is real and palpable around Raleigh. I think most people are able to excuse the first game for a variety of reasons. USC has played everyone close, NC State was without some key offensive linemen and we beat them in every facet of the game other than the score. Add that to the FSU victory and then somehow not doing what we normally do in those situations which would be losing to Syracuse in between FSU and Louisville. This is a good team and people see that, but we have to temper expectations on these sorts of things because we’ve just not done it consistently.
Going into this past week, the No.1 Louisville Baseball Cardinals had set a school record for best start to the season, going 19-0. However, the Cards had yet to play a road game this season, and faced two equally solid teams in Cincinnati and North Carolina State on the road this past week. They finished the week 2-2 after dropping the game to Cincinnati as well as the series opener to NC State, but went on to and win the series 2-1, to put them at 21-2 on the season.
If nothing else for the Louisville baseball team, they continue to be consistent after the first month of the season.
It was another week, another four wins for the Cards as they push their undefeated streak to 19-0. The record is now the hottest in the program’s 100-year history, passing the 17-0 mark set by the 1957 team.
Up next, the Cardinals will make their road trips of the season, starting with tonight’s clash at Cincinnati. U of L will follow that up with a weekend series at NC State.
Louisville went on the road Thursday and picked up a big conference win over NC State. It looked at times like the Cards were ready to “boom” them and put the game out of reach, but NC State hung in there and made it a game down to the buzzer. Win by 20 or win by 5, a road win in the ACC is solid. Here are my six takeaways following the game…
Rick Pitino had his press conference on Wednesday where he previewed NC State. He covered everything from Cat Barber to Mangok Mathiang to Ben Simmons to the Kansas-Oklahoma game from a few nights ago.
I think as you can see with this league probably right now there are 14 coaches saying, ‘OK, we’ve got a great shot at the NCAA.’ Last night Clemson shocks the ACC with a win at Syracuse. Clemson gave North Carolina, they could have won that game, late in the game. It’s a fascinating league. It does remind me Southern style of the Big East a few years ago when 11 teams got in, which makes it fun for everybody, especially for the fans, the players and everybody alike. If you can come away with a road victory at any point you have a leg up. You’ve got to win your home games. It’ll be a great year.
The opening line is out from VegasInsider.com, and NC State is a 5 point favorite against Louisville this Saturday. The Wolfpack are 4-0 heading into the game, but have not really been tested. They beat Troy (49-21), Eastern Kentucky (35-0), Old Dominion (38-14), and South Alabama (63-13).
Tied at 5 in the 9th inning, the Cards scored three runs, including one on a squeeze play, to beat NC State 8-5. With the win, the Cards won every ACC series this season and set a record for the most conference wins in ACC history with 25.
The Cards continued their winning ways on Thursday by picking up another ACC win on the road against NC State. Here are the highlights. They are back at it this evening at 6:30 on ESPN3 and 93.9 The Ville.
A good 25 minutes of a Rick Pitino press conference. He talks NC State, “morons” that call into sports talk radio shows, and has a lot of laughter. Good stuff.
Well, we’re obviously excited to be in the Sweet 16. We took a day off yesterday because a West Coast trip knocks a lot out of you. So today I’m sure we’ll have a little bit of a sluggish practice trying to get our feet back, but I think the adrenalin is going to be very high and we’re looking forward to playing another ACC basketball game, and we know how good NC State is because they beat us by 8-10 points at home. Not too many teams do that and they did it. We also realize they’ve won 8 out of 10, their frontcourt’s playing extremely well and their backcourt’s playing outstanding and they’ve beaten some pretty damn good teams on their court. We know it will be a hard-fought game, it’s not only an outstanding team we’re playing, but there’s a lot at stake.
While I don’t agree with his final prediction, here is a little preview.
The Louisville Cardinals have opened as a 3 point favorite for Friday’s game against North Carolina State. Also, the over/under for total points scored is 131 1/2, which means the score is projected to be somewhere around 67-64 in favor of the Cards. A little too close for me. I would be fine with a 10 point margin and some comfort. But I know, I know…just survive and advance.
Go ahead and make your plans for watching the Cards this weekend. Before last night’s game against Northern Iowa, the schedule was already released and we knew when Louisville would play if they advanced.
With the win, Louisville will now face NC State and the game will be Friday at 7:37 pm ET in Syracuse, New York. The game will be shown on TBS and Vern Lundquist will be on the call. So we can only imagine how he will pronounce “Mangok Mathiang” and “Chinanu Onuaku.” The full schedule for Thursday and Friday is below.
With just three regular season games left, the Louisville Cardinals are looking to keep one of those top 4 spots in the ACC standings, which would earn them a double-bye in the ACC Tournament. Here are the standings entering the weekend and the schedule of games for Saturday and Sunday. When looking at the standings, keep in mind that Syracuse will not be playing in any post-season tournament this year, and that includes the ACC Tournament.
It sure was good to have DeVante back. To keep it simple: he changes everything!