NO. 4 LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (27-8) vs. NO. 7 MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS (26-11)
Game Time: 2:20 p.m.
Location: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.
Announcers: Verne Lundquist )play-by-play), Jim Spanarkel (analyst), and Allie LaForce (reporter)
Favorite: Michigan State by 2.5
All-Time Series: Louisville leads 5-3
Last Meeting: Louisville won 57-44 in the 2012 Sweet 16
--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 five of the last eight seasons. Louisville is sixth in tournament victories (75) and is fifth in NCAA Tournament appearances (41). UofL has a 75-41 overall record in the big dance, and has reached the Final Four 10 times.
--Louisville and Michigan State are two of just 14 Division-I teams that have won multiple national championships. This will be their third meeting in the NCAA Tournament.
--This is Louisville's 9th straight NCAA Tournament appearance, the longest such streak in program history.
--Tom Izzo is appearing in his ninth Elite Eight in 18 NCAA Tournament appearances.
--Louisville is 4-1 all-time versus No. 7 seeds in the NCAA Tournament. Their last meeting was a win over Florida in the 2012 Elite Eight.
--U of L will be the better seed in their 13th straight NCAA Tournament game on Sunday. The previous school record was 5 straight games in 1986.
--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.
--Tom Izzo is 12-9 in the NCAA Tournament when Michigan State is the lower-seeded team. The 12 wins are the most all-time in NCAA Tournament history.
--Louisville ranks sixth all-time in Elite Eight appearances.
--Each of Michigan State's last eight wins have been by single digits, as the Spartans have not won a game by double figures since Feb. 17 at Michigan (80-67).
--Louisville is 52-9 in the NCAA Tournament when they are the better seed.
--Louisville is the first school to have represented six different conferences in the Elite Eight.
--Under Tom Izzo, the Spartans are a remarkable 20-4 in the second game of an NCAA Tournament weekend. All four losses have all come to No. 1 seeds or eventual National Champions.
--Louisville and Michigan State are the only programs in the country to make the tournament's second weekend in each of the last four years.
--Michigan State is averaging 11.2 turnovers per game. That ranks as the lowest average of the Tom Izzo era, as last year's squad averaged 11.58 per game. MSU is averaging just 8.8 turnovers over the last 12 games, including seven games with eight or fewer.
--Since March, 2012, Louisville owns an overall record of 27-3 in postseason play.
--When he takes the floor tonight, Wayne Blackshear will become the first player in Louisville history to play in 18 NCAA Tournament games. He sat a U of L record on Friday by playing in his 15th NCAA Tournament victory.
Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Michigan State 65, Louisville 64