Louisville and North Carolina have already played two of the most exciting games of the 2014-15 college basketball season to date, and on Thursday, fans will be treated to a rubber match.
The Tar Heels advanced to the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament with an 81-63 win over 12th-seeded Boston College on Wednesday. UNC's biggest stars led the the charge to victory, with Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson each scoring 17 points and combining for 15 rebounds. Paige also dished out 9 assists.
Carolina pulled off the victory without the services of big man Kennedy Meeks (12.0 ppg/7.6 rpg), who has been dealing with an undiagnosed illness all week. There's no word yet on his status for Thursday's game.
Louisville and North Carolina both won their home game against the other in dramatic fashion back in January. In the first meeting on Jan. 10, UNC overcame a 13 point deficit with 8 1/2 minutes left to stun the Cardinals via a Marcus Paige runner with 8.5 seconds left. Rick Pitino and company returned the favor at the Yum Center three weeks later, coming back from 18 down in the second half to win a 78-68 overtime thriller.
Thursday's game is still listed as starting at 2 p.m., but based on the first two days of the tournament, I'd say the tilt is more likely to get underway at some point between 2:45 and 3. Good news for you school kids. For everyone else, plan your breaks and/or alibis accordingly.