Facing perhaps its toughest test of the season to date, Louisville was not up to the challenge in Chapel Hill Wednesday night.
The Cards missed nine of their 13 free-throw attempts, 15 of their 20 three-point attempts, and were out-rebounded by 13 in a 74-63 loss to No. 8 North Carolina. Donovan Mitchell, who tied for the game-high with 21 points, was the lone U of L player who scored in double figured.
Look, there’s no shame in losing to a current No. 1 seed in their home arena where they’re undefeated this season, but this was not a tremendous effort from Carolina, and Louisville didn’t come close to taking advantage. One of the guys at the four spot has got to step up in games like this, and neither did tonight. That’s going to have to change if/when U of L runs into a team with a similar frontcourt next month.
The long-term implications aren’t overly significant. Louisville likely lost out on any shot at an ACC title and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, which sucks, but they would almost certainly still be a No. 2 seed if the Big Dance started tomorrow.
This was a disappointing and largely frustrating evening, but better now than three weeks from now.