NO. 4 LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (26-8) vs. NO. 8 NORTH CAROLINA STATE WOLFPACK (22-13)
Game Time: 7:37 p.m..
Location: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.
Announcers: Verne Lundquist )play-by-play), Jim Spanarkel (analyst), and Allie LaForce (reporter)
Favorite: Louisville by 2.5
All-Time Series: NC State leads 9-8
Last Meeting: NC State won 74-65 on Feb. 14 at the KFC Yum Center
--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 21 occasions and have advanced to the Elite Eight four of the last seven seasons. Louisville is sixth in tournament victories (74) and is fifth in NCAA Tournament appearances (41). UofL has a 74-41 overall record in the big dance, and has reached the Final Four 10 times.
--Louisville and NC State are two of just 14 Division-I teams that have won multiple national championships. This will be their first meeting in the NCAA Tournament.
--This is Louisville's 9th straight NCAA Tournament appearance, the longest such streak in program history.
--NC State is 19-9 in March under Mark Gottfried, including a 5-3 mark in the NCAA Tournament and a pair of Sweet 16 appearances. Gottfried is one of three ACC coaches all-time (Roy Williams, Skip Prosser) to take each of his first four teams to the NCAA Tournament.
--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).
--NC State has appeared in the East Region 8 times, owning an 11-8 mark in those years.
--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.
--No. 4 seeds and No. 8 seeds have met in the Sweet 16 four times since 2000, with No. 8 seeds winning each of those contests.
--Louisville ranks fourth all-time in Sweet 16 appearances, trailing only Kentucky, North Carolina and Duke.
--Louisville is 51-9 in the NCAA Tournament when they are the better seed.
--Louisville vs. NC State will be the 4th all-ACC game ever in NCAA Tournament. The Wolfpack appeared in one of the other three games, upsetting No. 1 seed Virginia on their way to the 1983 national championship.
--Rick Pitino is 11-1 all-time in the Sweet 16, owning an average margin of victory of 18.6 ppg in that round.
--NC State and Louisville have never met in the big dance, but they have played twice on a neutral court. In 1978, 12th-ranked NCSU defeated 4th-ranked Louisville 72-66 in the Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage. The two teams then met in the 1987 Rainbow Classic in Honolulu, with NC State winning again, 80-75.
--Louisville is the first school to have represented six different conferences in the Sweet 16.
--Louisville and Michigan State are the only programs in the country to make the Sweet 16 in each of the last four years.
--NC State has played seven games against the other 15 teams in this year's Sweet 16. State went 3-4 against Duke, West Virginia, North Carolina, Notre Dame and Louisville.
--Louisville went 1-6 against this year's Sweet 16.
--Since March, 2012, Louisville owns an overall record of 26-3 in postseason play.
--When he takes the floor tonight, Wayne Blackshear will become the first player in Louisville history to play in the Sweet 16 in four consecutive seasons.
Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Louisville 66, NC State 63