LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (11-2) vs. WAKE FOREST DEMON DEACONS (9-3)
Game Time: 8:01 p.m.
Location: KFC Yum Center: Louisville, Ky.
Announcers: Anish Schroff (play-by-play) and Cory Alexander (analyst)
Officials: James Luckie, Pat Driscoll, John Gaffney
Favorite: Louisville by 14.5
All-Time Series: Louisville leads 3-1
Last Meeting: Louisville won 85-76 on Jan. 4, 2015 in Winston-Salem
Wake Forest Probable Starting Lineup:
About Wake Forest:
Wake Forest, which went 13-19 in Danny Manning's first season a year ago, has won seven of its last eight and carries a 9-3 record into ACC play. The Demon Deacons' only setback over its last eight games is a 78-70 loss to No. 6 Xavier in a game it led by 18 in the first half.
The Deacs are led by senior forward Devin Thomas, who enters Sunday's game averaging a double-double at 16.6 ppg and 10.2 rpg. Thomas had one of his best career games against Louisville last season, lighting the Cardinals up for a career-high 31 points on 11 of 14 shooting from the field.
Thomas has a much better supporting cast this season, with freshman guard Bryant Crawford (13.9 ppg), sophomore forward Konstantinos Mitoglou (12.2), and sophomore forward Cornelius Hudson (10.0 ppg) all joining him as double figure scorers. Senior guard Codi Miller-McIntyre did a tremendous job defending Ben Simmons in Wake's recent win over LSU, so you can expect the 6'3 veteran to draw the star assignment on Damion Lee Sunday night.
--Louisville has won its conference opening game in six of the last seven seasons. The Cardinals have a 9-5 record in its first league home game in Coach Rick Pitino's first 14 seasons at UofL.
--Wake Forest is looking for its first true road win over a ranked opponent since an 82-69 win at No. 24 North Carolina in 2009-10.
--Louisville junior forward Mangok Mathiang is out 4-6 weeks with a broken bone in his foot.
--Louisville senior point guard Trey Lewis is expected to miss tonight's game after suffering a sprained ankle in practice on Friday. (UPDATE: Rick Pitino now expects Lewis to try and play tonight, but he will not start)
--UofL leads the nation in scoring margin (+27.7), is second in rebounding margin (+14.5), third in scoring defense (57.4), and sixth in field goal percentage defense (.360).
--Louisville is 11-2 after 13 games for the sixth straight season.
--Wake has won its ACC opener five of the last eight years, but hasn't won one on the road since 2006-07 when it won at Miami.
--Sunday's game marks Wake Forest's first trip to Louisville since the 1962 Final Four at Freedom Hall, where the Deacs fell to Ohio State in the semifinals before downing UCLA in the 3rd Place Game.
--Louisville is ninth in the nation in field goal percentage (.512). UofL has shot above 50 percent in nine of its 13 games. The Cards shot 50 percent or above on eight occasions all last season. UofL is 13th nationally in scoring (85.1 ppg).
--Wake Forest is 5-1 away from home this season and has already more than doubled its road/neutral win total of last season (two).
--Louisville has a 27-13 record during the month of January over the last five years, including an 11-4 record in the last two years.
--Louisville's 134 victories over the last five years are the second-most wins in the nation in that stretch. Louisville and Wichita State are the only schools in the nation to win 30 games in three of the last four seasons, including a school-record 35 victories amassed by Louisville's 2012-13 NCAA Championship team.
Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Louisville 84, Wake Forest 66