NO. 16 LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (23-6, 11-5) vs. NO. 12 NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH (24-5, 12-4)
Game Time: 7:01 p.m.
Location: KFC Yum Center: Louisville, Ky.
Announcers: Bob Wischusen (play-by-play) and Dick Vitale (analyst).
Officials: Jamie Luckie, Brian Dorsey, and Michael Stephens
Favorite: Louisville by 4
All-Time Series: Louisville leads 20-12
Last Meeting: Louisville won 69-57 in the 2013 Big East Tournament semifinals
Probable Starting Lineups:
About Notre Dame:
After spending the bulk of 2015 ranked in the top 10, Notre Dame enters Wednesday night's crucial game against Louisville ranked11th in the USA Today poll and 12th by the Associated Press. They have won three of their last four games, falling 65-60 over Syracuse on Feb. 24, a night where they shot an uncharacteristic 34.7 percent from the field. This will be their first game in eight days.
Notre Dame boasts one of the best offenses in all of college basketball, and enters tonight's game with the fourth most efficient offensive in the country according to Ken Pomeroy. Five Fighting Irish players are averaging at least 9.2 points per game this season, led by All-American candidate Jerian Grant (16.9 ppg, 6.6 apg). Notre Dame ranks fourth nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.63) and fourth in fewest turnovers per game (9.3). Notre Dame is 6-2 on the road in ACC play, the most conference road wins ever for the Fighting Irish.
--Louisville has a 25-4 record in March over the last three years.
--Louisville has won 19 straight home games in March, and are 21-1 overall at home in March under Rick Pitino.
--Louisville has played 13 games against Notre Dame with Rick Pitino as its head coach, and those 13 games have included a total of 13 overtime periods.
--Notre Dame will lock up no worse than the No. 3 seed in the ACC Tournament with a victory tonight, while Louisville can keep its hopes of nabbing the No. 3 seed for itself alive with a win.
--Terry Rozier has scored 22 or more points six times in the last 11 games, including 22 points at Georgia Tech (18 in the second half). He is fourth in the ACC in scoring (17.4 ppg) and second in steals
--Notre Dame's 12-4 ACC record matches the program's best 16 game mark in conference play. The Fighting Irish were 12-4 twice in BIG EAST action (2010-11 and 2011-12).
--Louisville's 119 victories over the last four years are tied for 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).
--Notre Dame is 1-1 at the KFCYum! Center. In their first visit to the venue, the Irish earned a 67-65 double-overtime victory on Jan. 7, 2012 before suffering a 73-57 setback on March 9, 2013. Notre Dame is 2-10 all-time when playing the Cardinals in Louisville.
--Louisville ranks among the nation's top 30 in nine statistical categories through games of Feb. 28. Individually, Montrezl Harrell is 30th nationally in rebounding (9.3) and 23rd in field goal percentage (.573). Terry Rozier is 30th in steals (2.0) and 65th in scoring (17.4).
--Notre Dame is 1-17 in the state of Kentucky over the course of its last 18 contests played in the Bluegrass State - 1-8 against Louisville and 0-9 versus Kentucky.
--Wayne Blackshear needs 59 points to become Louisville's 67th all-time 1,000-point scorer.
--U of L is 160-9 over the last 14 seasons under Coach Rick Pitino when scoring 80 or more points (20-1 last season, 11-1 in 2012-13).
Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Louisville 71, Notre Dame 66