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Louisville-Notre Dame preview: Cards shoot for first South Bend win since '94

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

NO. 9 LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (12-2, 0-1) At NO. 23 NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH (12-2, 1-0)

Game Time: 9:05 p.m.

Location: Purcell Pavilion at Joyce Center: South Bend, Ind.

Television: ACC Network (WAVE-3 in Louisville)

Announcers: Tim Brando (play-by-play) and Dan Bonner (analyst)

Favorite: Notre Dame by 1

All-Time Series: Louisville leads 20-14

Last Meeting: Notre Dame won 71-66 in South Bend on Feb. 13, 2016

Series History:

Probable Starting Lineups:

Statistics:

Relevant Videos:

About Notre Dame:

Coming off a 78-77 overtime win over Pitt to open ACC play, Notre Dame welcomes Louisville to South Bend with a 12-2 overall record and a No. 23 national ranking according to the new Associated Press Top 25.

Always one of college basketball's most efficient offensive teams, the Fighting Irish enter Wednesday night's tilt ranking No. 1 in the entire country in assist-turnover ratio (2.02), free throw percentage (.841) and fewest turnovers per game (9.2). Additionally, Mike Brey's team ranks sixth in assists per game (18.6), 12th in three-point field goals per game (10.1), 19th in scoring margin (+17.0), 27th in scoring offense (83.2 ppg), and 35th in three-point field goal percentage (.396).

Notre Dame is led by junior forward Bonzie Colson, who averages a double-double at 16.6 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. The breakout game of Colson's freshman season came when he lit up Louisville to the tune of 17 points on 7-of-7 shooting in a 12-point Irish win. Three more Notre Dame players average double figures, led by the super-talented V.J. Beachem (14.9 ppg). Junior point guard Matt Farrell has done a terrific job replacing current Celtic Demetrius Jackson, averaging 13.4 points and 5.6 assists per game.

Notable:

--Louisville has not won a road game against Notre Dame since 1994.

--Louisville has won its first conference road game in each of the last nine seasons.

--During Louisville's time in the Big East, the Joyce Center was the only road venue where the Cardinals failed to win at least one game.

--This series has been notable for a number of overtime battles, including the legendary 104-101 five-overtime Notre Dame victory that ended up as the longest regular-season game in Big East conference history on Feb. 9, 2013. In all, the teams have gone into overtime nine times in 34 meetings. Louisville won the first five games in the series that advanced to overtime, but the Irish have claimed wins in three of the four most recent overtime games (Feb. 9, 2011, Jan. 7, 2012 and Feb. 9, 2013).

--Mike Brey is two wins away from becoming the 35th active Division-I coach with 700 victories.

--Louisville is in the midst of a stretch of four consecutive games against Top 25 Associated Press ranked opponents for the first time ever in the regular season.

--Louisville won at least 12 of its first 14 games for the seventh straight season.

--Notre Dame is 9-0 in home games this season.

--The Fighting Irish lead the nation in assist-turnover ratio (2.02), free throw percentage (.841) and fewest turnovers per game (9.2).

--Louisville has a 33-15 record during the month of January over the last six years, including a 17-6 record in the last three years.

--Louisville will wear special red "Iced Out" adidas uniforms for this game.

--Louisville has yet to surrender more than 71 points in a game this season.

--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 72, Notre Dame 70