Louisville Cardinals (19-11, 9-8) At NC State Wolfpack (20-10, 10-7)
Game Time: 6:05 p.m.
Location: PNC Arena: Raleigh, N.C.
Announcers: Mike Couzens (play-by-play) and Cory Alexander (analyst)
Officials: Bert Smith, Lamar Simpson, A.J. Desai
Favorite: NC State by 1.5
Probable Starting Lineups:
Series: Louisville leads, 11-9
Last Meeting: Louisville won 85-60 on Jan. 24, 2017 in Louisville
About NC State:
Coached by former Louisville assistant Kevin Keatts, NC State (20-10, 10-7 ACC) has won four of its last five and seven of its last 10 games. The Wolfpack’s five wins over ranked opponents this season —including both Duke and North Carolina — are its most since 2003-04.
NC State is led in scoring by senior guard Allerik Freeman, who is putting in 15.2 ppg. Torin Dorn is chipping in 13.7 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, while sophomore big man Omer Yurtseven has been posting 13.7 points and 6.9 rebounds per game during a breakout second college season.
Currently ranking 29th in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency, NC State hasn’t been held below 72 points since Jan. 14.
—Louisville needs one win to eclipse the 20-win mark for a 16th straight season. Duke, Kansas and Gonzaga are the only other programs in Division-I to achieve that feat.
—Louisville is third in the nation in blocked shots (6.2 bpg) and ranks 18th in field goal percentage defense (.406).
—Anas Mahmoud is eighth in the nation in blocked shots (2.9).
—Louisville’s ACC tournament seed scenarios heading into Saturday:
6 if Miami and Louisville win.
7 if Virginia Tech and Louisville win
8 if NC State and either Boston College or Notre Dame win
9 if Florida State, Virginia, & NC State win.
—NC State head coach Kevin Keatts was an assistant at Louisville for three seasons (2011-14) when the Cardinals posted a 96-21 (.821) record.
—Louisville has won six of its last nine regular season finales.
—Louisville has made 43.2 percent of its three-pointers over its last eight games (79-of-183) and leads the ACC in three-point percentage for conference games only (.387). U of L is 14-2 when it makes eight or more three-pointers in a game.
—Louisville has a 32-20 record in its conference road games over the last six years (.615). U o f L has the fourth-most conference road wins in its four years in the ACC with 18.
Ken Pomeroy Prediction: NC State 81, Louisville 78