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Louisville-North Carolina Preview: Cards Seek Revenge, First Showcase Game Victory

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports


Game Time: 4 p.m.

Location: KFC Yum Center: Louisville, Ky.

Television: ESPN

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

Officials: Brian Dorsey, Bill Covington, Jr., and Lamar Simpson

Favorite: Louisville by 5

All-Time Series: North Carolina leads 10-3

Last Meeting: North Carolina won 72-71 on Jan. 10 in Chapel Hill

Series History:

Probable Starting Lineups:


Relevant Videos:

About North Carolina:

The Tar Heels have won six straight since their thrilling win over Louisville three Saturdays ago, and are now 7-1 in ACC play. UNC is shooting 50.8 percent from the field as a team during its current winning streak.

As they were the last time the two teams met, North Carolina is one of the best rebounding teams in the country. The Tar Heels lead Division-I in offensive rebounds per 40 minutes and are fifth nationally in rebound margin (+10.1). They destroyed the Cardinals on the glass in Chapel Hill, outrebounding U of L 42-27.

Although Roy Williams' teams are typically known more for their offense, the Tar Heels have held 15 of their 21 opponents to under 40 percent from the field this season, and they rank 11th nationally in field goal percentage defense (37.4 percent).

Marcus Paige, the hero of the first game, remains UNC's leading scorer at 14.1 ppg, but he's had some significant help during the Heels' current streak. The frontcourt duo of Kennedy Meeks and Brice Johnson is averaging a combined 28.0 points on 60.9 percent shooting over the last three weeks. They combined for 24 points and 17 rebounds in the first win over Louisville. Sophomore guard Nate Britt also enters today's game coming off of a 17-point performance against Syracuse in which he knocked down 4-of-5 shots from behind the three-point line.


--Today's game has been designated as a "White Out," which means you should wear white if you're going.

--Rick Pitino is 0-6 all-time against North Carolina. Louisville is 3-10 all-time against the Heels, and hasn't won since a 1999 victory at Freedom Hall.

--Roy Williams is 4-1 all-time against Louisville, and 3-0 against the Cards as the coach of North Carolina.

--Carolina is off to a 7-1 ACC start, tied as its second-best conference start under head coach Roy Williams. UNC's only better ACC start under Williams was 8-1 in the NCAA championship season of 2004-05.

--Terry Rozier has averaged 20.8 points over the last 13 games, scoring over 20 points in six contests.He has averaged 20 ppg in ACC play, second in the league. He is second in the ACC in steals.

--Louisville's 113 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 159-9 over the last 14 seasons under Coach Rick Pitino when scoring 80 or more points (20-1 last season, 11-1 in 2012-13). That one loss a season ago came against North Carolina.

--Louisville has shot a combined 61.5 percent from the field in its last two games, including hitting half of its three-pointers (12-of-24). Louisville has shot above 47 percent from the field on 10 occasions this season, including six times in the last eight games.

--Carolina is 3-0 on the road in ACC play in 2014-15 and 61-32 on the road in 12 seasons under head coach Roy Williams.

--Carolina's effective defensive field goal percentage (43.0) ranks 13th nationally and its offensive rebounding percentage (43.0) is second in the nation.

--The Cardinals are 2-0 all-time against North Carolina in games played in Louisville.

--Montrezl Harrell became the 66th member of Louisville's 1,000-point club during last Sunday's win at Pittsburgh.

--Wayne Blackshear is 134 points away from joining Harrell in the 1,000-point club. He recorded his 100th career steal during the win at Boston College on Wednesday.

--Louisville is 14-0 this season in games where freshman forward Jaylen Johnson sees the court.

Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Louisville 75, North Carolina 71