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Louisville-North Carolina is on, Malik Williams will play

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Cards are (for real this time) back.

North Carolina v Louisville Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

After nearly three weeks of postponements, cancelations, rumors and frustration, the Louisville men’s basketball team is finally about to return to the court.

In a press conference Friday evening, Cardinal head coach Chris Mack confirmed that the team will be traveling to Chapel Hill for Saturday night’s road game against North Carolina. Additionally, Mack noted that every U of L player outside of Aidan Igiehon was able to take part in Louisville’s practice on Friday. Igiehon is sidelined with an illness unrelated to Covid, and will not travel with the team to North Carolina.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t necessarily guarantee that Louisville will have everyone but Igiehon available for Saturday’s game. A clearly agitated Mack addressed the biggest question of the night right out of the gate.

“As of right now, I don’t know who’s going to be available,” Mack said. “We have a conflict right now with our medical people and the powers that be with their medical people. So right now I don’t know who’s going to be available for the game tomorrow.”

Uhh, what?

“One of these days, I will write a book, because the last 48 hours have been interesting to say the least,” Mack said when asked for clarification. “I wish I could give you more information. I’m just as confused as you are.”

One thing that Mack could be definitive on was the status of senior co-captain Malik Williams, who has not played a second this season after suffering a right foot injury in early November.

“Malik will play tomorrow,” Mack said in no uncertain terms.

Williams, who was averaging 8.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game last season before an injury cut his junior year short, returned to practice just a couple of weeks ago. His presence should bolster a young Cardinal front court that will have its hands full with the veteran UNC duo of Garrison Brooks and Armando Bacot.

So there will be a game on Saturday, but the only guy who we’re absolutely certain is going to play for Louisville is the only guy who hasn’t played a single second so far this season.

Sounds about right.

Go Cards. Beat UNC.