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Louisville vs. Wake Forest preview: Cards look to return to winning ways against struggling Deacs

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NCAA Basketball: Louisville at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Louisville Cardinals (15-5, 5-2) vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (8-12, 1-7)

Game Time: 8:06 p.m.

Location: KFC Yum Center: Louisville, Ky.

Television: ACC Network/WAVE-3 in Louisville

Announcers: Tom Werme (play-by-play) and Mike Gminski (analyst)

Officials: Bert Smith, Earl Walton, Lamont Simpson

Favorite: Louisville by 9.5

Probable Starting Lineups:

Series: Louisville leads, 4-2

Last Meeting: Wake Forest won 88-81 on March 1, 2017 in Winston-Salem

Series History:

Statistics:

Relevant Videos:

About Wake Forest:

Wake Forest (8-12, 1-7 ACC), has dropped its last six games, falling 84-70 at home to No. 4 Duke on Jan. 23 in its last outing. Center Doral Moore totaled 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Demon Deacons while making all nine of his field goals. Brandon Childress also scored 18 for WFU, which committed 21 turnovers as a team.

Wake’s lone ACC victory this season was a 73-67 win over Syracuse on Jan. 3. Four Demon Deacons have made at least 24 three-pointers this season. Scoring leader Bryant Crawford (15.7 ppg) reached the 1,000-point milestone earlier this season (1,260 points now). Wake Forest is 57th nationally in three-point field goal percentage (.381) and are No. 85 in the Sagarin Ratings, No. 93 by Ken Pomeroy, and No. 129 in the RPI through Jan. 25.

Notable:

—The only previous meeting between these teams at the KFC Yum Center was a 65-57 Louisville win in 2015-16.

—Louisville has held six of its seven ACC opponents to 40 percent or below shooting from the field, including limiting Miami to 36.9 percent shooting in its last game. The Cardinals have collected nine or more steals in five conference games (9 vs. Miami).

—Though its overall record is only 8-12, Wake Forest has led or been tied in the second half of 15 of its 20 games this season.

— Louisville is second in the nation in blocked shots (7.4 bpg) and ranks seventh in field goal percentage defense (.384) and 10th in 3-point defense (.301).

—Anas Mahmoud is fourth in the nation in blocked shots (3.55) and Ray Spalding is 15th in offensive rebounds (2.15).

—Deng Adel has scored in double figures in 22 of his last 23 games dating back to last season.

— Louisville has a 40-8 record in its conference home games over the last six years (.833), including an 8-1 record last year. UofL is tied for the third-most conference road wins in its four years in the ACC with 25.

—In 800 minutes of play this season, Wake Forest has led for 388:13 and trailed for 310:17.

—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).

—Louisville has opened with at least a 15-5 record through 20 games for the eighth straight season (16-4 start last year).

Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Louisville 77, Wake Forest 67