NO. 5 LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (12-1, 0-0) AT WAKE FOREST DEMON DEACONS (8-6, 0-1)
Game Time: 8 p.m.
Location: Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Stadium: Winston-Salem, N.C.
Announcers: Adam Amin (play-by-play) and Brad Daugherty (analyst)
Officials: Karl Hess, Brian Dorsey and Joe Lindsay
Favorite: Louisville by 12.5
All-Time Series: Louisville leads 2-1
Last Meeting: Wake Forest won 60-59 in the Sweet 16 of the 1996 NCAA Tournament in Minneapolis
About Wake Forest:
The Demon Deacons have won four of their last five games, including an 80-66 victory over Princeton on New Year's Eve in their most recent outing. First-year head coach Danny Manning has guided the Deacs to an overall mark of 8-6 up to this point.
Wake Forest ranks 16th nationally in rebounding margin (+9.4) and 23rd nationally in rebounding (40.8 rpg). Devin Thomas leads the ACC and ranks 23rd nationally in rebounding with 9.6 rpg. Thomas leads the ACC with 7.4 defensive rebounds per game. Guard Codi Miller-McIntyre has scored in double figures in eight of the past 10 and handed out a career-high 11 assists against Princeton.
Ranking 49th in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency, Wake will look to make tonight's game a slow-paced halfcourt struggle. The Deacs don't shoot the ball particularly well and are turnover prone, which means Louisville's ability to get "cheap" points in transition and off turnovers will be key.
--This evening's game marks Louisville's first conference tilt as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
--Louisville has won its first conference road game in each of the last seven seasons, and its conference opener in five of the last six.
--Louisville has won 20 consecutive conference games played on Sunday.
--Wake Forest is 3rd nationally in defensive rebounding percentage, whole Louisville ranks 19th nationally in offensive rebounding percentage.
--Louisville's 108 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 155-9 over the last 14 seasons under Coach Rick Pitino when scoring 80 or more points (20-1 last season, 11-1 in 2012-13).
--Louisville's 87-26 win over Savannah State was Rick Pitino's 22nd victory at U of L that came by 40 points or more, the most of any coach in Cardinal history.
--Louisville has a 45-25 record in conference games on the road over the last eight seasons (.643), the best in both the Big East and AAC during its time in those two leagues.
--With 10 steals in its last game vs. Long Beach State, the Cardinals are averaging 10.8 steals, ranking fifth in the nation. U of L has produced double-digit steals in 11 of its 13 games this season.
--Louisville ranks among the nation's top 15 in nine statistical categories through games of Jan. 1. Individually, Montrezl Harrell is 28th nationally in rebounding (9.3) and 12th in field goal percentage (.600). Freshman center Chinanu Onuaku is 46th nationally in blocked shots, averaging 2.2 per game. Terry Rozier is 20th in steals (2.4).
--Louisville is off to a 12-1 start for the third time in four seasons.
--Montrezl Harrell needs just 63 points to reach 1,000 for his career.
--Louisville is 27-0 all-time in games in which sophomore guard David Levitch sees the court.
Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Louisville 69, Wake Forest 60