NO. 4 LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (25-8) vs. NO. 5 NORTHERN IOWA PANTHERS (31-3)
Game Time: (Approximately) 9:40 p.m.
Location: KeyArena: Seattle, Wash.
Announcers: Spero Dedes (play-by-play), Mike Gminski (analyst), and Jaime Maggio (reporter)
Favorite: Northern Iowa by 2.5
All-Time Series: Louisville leads 1-0
Last Meeting: Louisville won 51-46 on Nov. 22, 2012 in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament
--Louisville is making its 41st NCAA Tournament appearance. The Cardinals have reached the NCAA Tournament 32 of the last 39 years (nine straight, 12 of the last 13, 14 of the last 17 years, 20 of last 24). The Cards have reached the Sweet 16 on 20 occasions and have advanced to the Elite Eight four of the last seven seasons. Louisville is sixth in tournament victories (73) and is fifth in NCAA Tournament appearances (41). UofL has a 73-41 overall record in the big dance, and has reached the Final Four 10 times.
--This is Northern Iowa's seventh trip to the NCAA Tournament (1990, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2015). The Panthers are 1-1 in the round of 32, with their lone victory being an upset of No. 1 overall seed Kansas in 2010.
--This is Louisville's 9th straight NCAA Tournament appearance, the longest such streak in program history.
--Northern Iowa is 30-1 this season when holding its opposition to 65 points or less.
--This is Louisville's 5th appearance in the East Region. The Cards made the Elite 8 two of the last three times they were sent East (1997, 2008).
--This is the 10th time the Cardinals have entered the NCAA Tournament as a No. 4 seed. (also: 1981, 1989, 1990, 1993, 2003, 2005, 2011, 2012, 2014). U of L advanced to the NCAA Final Four from a No. 4 seed in both 2005 and 2012. Louisville has a 16-9 record as a No. 4 seed since the NCAA began seeding teams in 1979.
--Louisville is 7-1 all-time in games between 4 and 5 seeds, and have won seven straight in these games. The Cards' lone loss was in 1981 when U.S. Reed hit a halfcourt shot at the buzzer to lift Arkansas to victory (source).
--Louisville is 50-9 in the NCAA Tournament when they are the better seed.
--If Louisville defeats Northern Iowa, the Cardinals will join Michigan State as the only programs in the country to make the Sweet 16 in each of the last four years.
--Northern Iowa is No. 4 in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 54.3 ppg.
--Since March, 2012, Louisville owns an overall record of 25-3 in postseason play.
--Wayne Blackshear needs just 2 points to become Louisville's 67th all-time 1,000-point scorer.
Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Northern Iowa 59, Louisville 57