NO. 8 LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (20-5, 8-4) At SYRACUSE ORANGE (16-10, 8-5)
Game Time: 7:01 p.m.
Location: Carrier Dome: Syracuse, N.Y.
Announcers: Sean McDonough (play-by-play), Fran Fraschilla (analyst) and Allison Williams (reporter)
Officials: Michael Roberts, Michael Stephens, John Gaffney
Favorite: Louisville by 3.5
All-Time Series: Louisville leads 16-8
Last Meeting: Miami won 72-58 on Feb. 17, 2016 at the KFC Yum Center
Probable Starting Lineups:
Syracuse had its season-long five-game winning streak snapped at Pittsburgh on Saturday with an 80-75 defeat. The Orange enter Monday night’s game squarely on the NCAA Tournament bubble at 16-10 overall and 8-5 in ACC play.
The Orange are 17th nationally in steals (8.3 spg), 33rd in blocked shots (5.1 bpg), 29th in three-point field goal percentage (.392), 28th in assists turnovers ratio (1.35) and 43rd in assists per game (16.2).
Syracuse is led in scoring by Nebraska grad transfer Andrew White III (17.7 ppg), a player Louisville also courted briefly over the summer. The biggest difference-maker for the team in recent weeks has been the play of John Gillon. The senior guard is averaging 20.6 ppg over the team’s last five contests, a span which includes a 43-point performance against NC State.
—Louisville is ninth in the nation in field goal defense (.386), ninth in blocked shots (5.8 bpg), third in three-point field goal percentage defense (.287), 14th in scoring margin (+14.4) and 19th in offensive rebounds per game (13.5).
—Louisville has won at least 20 of its first 25 games for the fifth time in the last six seasons.
—Syracuse guard John Gillon has made 34 consecutive free-throws, which ties the school record.
—Rick Pitino lost his first six games against former boss Jim Boeheim, but has gone 13-5 against him since.
—A Louisville victory will move the Cardinals past Indiana and into ninth-place on college basketball’s all-time wins list.
—Louisville has a 54-17 record (.761) in February over the last nine years (since 2007- 08), winning 20 of its last 27 in the month.
—Louisville has a 27-15 record in its conference road games over the last five years (.643)
—Louisville is one of just four schools which have won 20 or more games in each of the last 15 seasons (also Kansas, Duke and Gonzaga).
Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Louisville 73, Syracuse 68