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Louisville-Clemson preview: Cards shoot for fourth straight ACC victory

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

NO. 12 LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (15-3, 3-2) vs. CLEMSON TIGERS (11-6, 1-4)

Game Time: 9:05 p.m.

Location: KFC Yum Center: Louisville, Ky.

Television: ESPN

Announcers: Jason Benetti (play-by-play) and Dan Dakich (analyst)

Officials: James Luckie, Michael Roberts, Jeffrey Anderson

Favorite: Louisville by 5.5

All-Time Series: Louisville leads 4-1

Last Meeting: Clemson won 66-62 on Jan. 10, 2016 in Greenville, S.C.

Series History:


Relevant Videos:

About Clemson:

Clemson had won nine straight before dropping its last four games, including a 77-73 loss at home to Virginia on Jan. 14 in its last outing. The Tigers shot 50 percent from the field, but Virginia shot 58 percent, including 10-of- 8 from the three-point line (.556). Graduate forward Jaron Blossomgame led Clemson with 22 points and six rebounds in the loss.

The Tigers are second in the nation in fewest fouls (248), 13th in turnover margin (+4.6), 17th in fewest turnovers per game (10.8) and 30th in steals per game (8.3). Blossomgame (18.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg this season) is only the seventh player in Clemson history with at least 1,400 points and 700 rebounds in a career. Blossomgame is 13th on the Clemson career scoring list.

Senior guard Avry Holmes (11.3 ppg, 36-of-92 three-pointers, .391) reached the 1,000 career points scoring mark earlier this season. The Tigers have won three of their five road games this season.

Clemson defeated Louisville 66-62 last year behind Blossomgame's 17 points and nine rebounds. The Tigers attempted 44 free-throws in the game.


--Louisville will be playing without starting point guard Quentin Snider, who suffered a strained hip flexor in the team's win over Duke on Saturday.

--Louisville is fourth in the nation in blocked shots (6.6 bpg).

--Clemson has not defeated a ranked opponent on the road since a 75-74 win at No. 21 Virginia Tech on March 4, 2007.

--Over the last five games, Donovan Mitchell has averaged 19.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists and made 16-of-37 three-pointers (.432). Mitchell is second in the ACC and is 24th in the nation in steals (2.2 per game).

--Jaron Blossomgame enters Thursday's contest with four straight 20-point games. Last season, he set a personal best by posting 20+ in five straight ACC games, the longest such streak by a Tiger since Horace Grant in 1986-87.

--Blossomgame ranks second in the ACC in conference games with a 60 percent shooting mark, making 42 of 70 attempts from the field.

--Louisville has a 36-16 record during the month of January over the last seven years, including a 20-7 record in the last four years.

--Louisville has a 31-8 record in its conference home games over the last five years (.795), including an 8-1 record last season in ACC games in the KFC Yum! Center.

--Louisville's 161 victories over the last six years are the fifth-most wins in the nation in that stretch. The Cards are one of just three teams to win at least 30 games in three of the last five seasons (30-10 in 2011-12, 35-5 in
‘12-13, 31-6 in ‘13-14).

--Louisville is one of just four schools which have won 20 or more games in each of the last 14 seasons (also Kansas, Duke and Gonzaga).

Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Louisville 74, Clemson 65