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Louisville-Duke Preview: Cards Host 4th-Ranked Blue Devils In ACC Showdown

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

NO. 6 LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (15-2, 3-1) vs. NO. 4 DUKE BLUE DEVILS (14-2, 2-2)

Game Time: Noon

Location: KFC Yum Center: Louisville, Ky.

Television: ESPN

Announcers: Dave O'Brien (play-by-play), Dick Vitale (analyst) and Doris Burke (analyst/reporter)

Officials: Bryan Kersey, Michael Stephens and Brian Dorsey

Favorite: Louisville by 4

All-Time Series: Duke leads 5-4

Last Meeting: Louisville won 85-63 in the 2013 Elite 8 in Indianapolis

Series History:

Probable Starting Lineups:


Relevant Videos:

About Duke:

After being the victims of back-to-back upset losses at the hands of NC State and Miami, the fourth-ranked Blue Devils are entering Saturday's game hoping to avoid losing three straight for the first time since 2007. The losses came after Coach K's team began the season with 14 consecutive victories, the first 13 coming by double-digits.

The Blue Devils are loaded with freshman talent, most notably freshman center Jahlil Okafor. The national Player of the Year candidate leads the team in scoring at 18.9 ppg, and has connected on a ridiculous 25-of-41 shots in ACC play. Senior guard Quinn Cook provides leadership and stability, ranking second on the team in both scoring (14.8 ppg) and assists (3.1 apg). Former McDonald's All-Americans Justise Winslow (11.9 ppg/4.8 rpg) and Tyus Jones (9.4 ppg/4.8 apg) are the Blue Devils' other two freshman starters.

Of course offense hasn't been the issue for Duke recently. Just two days after NC State had dropped 87 points in 70 possessions on the Devils, Miami chalked up 90 points on 74 trips in an embarrassing 90-74 win insider Cameron Indoor Stadium. All this coming after a 14-0 start in which Duke never allowed a team to score more than 73 points, and held opponents to under 60 points on seven occasions.


--Duke has lost back-to-back games in a season three times since the start of the 2009-10 season and is 26-3 following a loss during that span.

--Duke has suffered losing streaks of three games or more just four times over the past 20 seasons. The Blue Devils had a pair of four-game skids during the 2006-07 season, as well as a four-game streak and a three-game slide in 1995-96.

--Over the last 10 games, Terry Rozier has averaged 20.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.3 steals, scoring over 20 points in four games. He is second in the ACC in steals.

--Louisville's 111 victories over the last four years are the most wins in the nation in that stretch. Louisville is the only school in the nation with three straight 30 win seasons, including a school-record 35 victories amassed by Louisville's 2012-13 NCAA Championship team (30 in 2011- 12, 31 in 2013-14).

--U of L is 157-9 over the last 14 seasons under Coach Rick Pitino when scoring 80 or more points (20-1 last season, 11-1 in 2012-13).

--Jahlil Okafor has the highest field goal percentage (.668) in the NCAA among players attempting seven or more shots per game. Okafor has shot over 70 percent from the field in nine of Duke's first 16 games.

--Louisville has not lost a game by double digits since Jan. 16, 2012, easily the longest such streak in Division-I.

--In his last four games, Chris Jones has averaged 17.5 points, 7.0 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 2.5 steals and shot 49 percent from the field. He leads the ACC in assists for conference only games (7.0 apg).

--Louisville earned its second national title on March 31, 1986 with a 72-69 win over Duke. Freshman center Pervis Ellison scored 25 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked two shots.

--U of L will be honoring its 1980 national championship team at halftime of today's game.

--Louisville will be wearing 1980s-inspired adidas uniforms for today's game.

--Duke is 1-4 all-time against Louisville under Mike Krzyzewski.

--The Cardinals have scored 298 of their 1,255 points off turnovers (24 percent). Louisville is averaging 17.5 points per game off turnovers.

--Montrezl Harrell needs just 12 points to reach 1,000 for his career. Harrell also needs one more rebound to hit 600 for his career, and six more blocked shots to hit 100.

--Louisville is 28-0 all-time in games in which sophomore guard David Levitch sees the court.

Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Louisville 74, Duke 69