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Louisville races past Western Kentucky in Nashville, 71-54

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The 7-0 Cards will now prepare for life with the ultimate target on their back.

NCAA Basketball: Louisville at Western Kentucky Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Nwora scored a game-high 25 points and Dwayne Sutton added 15 points and seven rebounds as Louisville topped Western Kentucky 71-54 Friday night in Nashville.

With the win, the 7-0 Cardinals will more than likely be the new No. 1 team in the country when the new AP and coaches top 25 polls are released on Monday.

Unlike most games so far in 2019-20, Louisville won with defense. The Cardinals held a Western Kentucky team that entered the evening No. 8 in the country in effective field goal percentage to just 1-of-17 shooting from beyond the arc. The Hilltoppers shot a season-low 37.0 percent from the field for the game, and turned the ball over nine times in the first half.

Louisville countered with its second-worst shooting performance of the season (44.2 percent from the field), but made up for it by out-rebounding WKU by 14 and by connecting on 18 of its 20 free-throw attempts. U of L also turned the ball over 14 times and finished with a season-low 10 assists.

It wasn’t a work of art on offense, but it was nice to see Louisville win a grind-it-out type game on a neutral floor. I though Enoch and Williams both did a terrific job on Charles Bassey for the most part, and although they did miss some open looks, WKU’s poor shooting numbers were mostly the product of our great defense.

Now, our attention turns to a game against Michigan that is suddenly the showcase game of the entire ACC-Big 10 Challenge. The Cardinals will likely be the nation’s new No. 1, while the Wolverines will sport the best early season resume in the country. Juwan Howard’s team is 7-0 with wins over Creighton, Iowa State, No. 6 North Carolina and No. 8 Gonzaga, the last two of those coming in the Battle 4 Atlantis by a combined 25 points.

It should be quite the atmosphere inside the KFC Yum Center Tuesday night. Wear white.

Here’s your final box score from Nashville: