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Louisville vs. Duke preview

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NCAA Basketball: Louisville at Duke Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Louisville Cardinals (6-12, 1-6) vs. Duke Blue Devils (13-4, 4-2)

Game Time: 7 p.m.

Location: KFC Yum Center: Louisville, Ky.

Television: ACC Network

Announcers: Rece Davis (play-by-play) and Jon Crispin (analyst)

Favorite: Duke by 14

Series: Duke leads, 13-9

Last Meeting: Duke won 79-62 on Feb. 20, 2023 in Durham

Series History:

Probable Starting Lineups:

Louisville

  • G Skyy Clark (6-3, 205, So.)
  • G Hercy Miller (6-3, 175, Jr.)
  • G/F Mike James (6-5, 200, R-So.)
  • F Danilo Jovanovich (6-8, 220, So.)
  • F Brandon Huntley-Hatfield (6-10, 240, Jr.)

Duke

  • G Jaylen Blakes (6-2, 180, Sr.)
  • G Jared McCain (6-3, 197, Fr.)
  • G Tyrese Proctor (6-5, 183, So.)
  • G Caleb Foster (6-5, 197, Fr.)
  • C Kyle Filipowski (7-0, 248, So.)

Statistics:

Relevant Videos:

About Duke:

The preseason No. 2 team in the country, Duke enters Tuesday night’s game against Louisville coming off of a head-scratching 80-76 home loss to a Pittsburgh team it had beaten by 22 just 11 days earlier. The Blue Devils currently sit at No. 13 on Ken Pom and No. 19 in the NET Rankings.

Part of the reason for Duke’s struggles Saturday can be attributed to the absence of senior guard Jeremy Roach, who missed the game because of a knee injury. Roach is averaging a career-high 14.6 points per game while shooting nearly 50 percent from the field. He’s also scored 18 or more points in nine of Duke’s last 11 games.

Also missing Saturday’s game because of a knee injury was sophomore forward Mark Mitchell, the team’s third-leading scorer at 12.2 ppg. As of this writing, there is no word on the status of either Roach or Mitchell for tonight’s game.

One player who is good to go against Louisville is ACC Player of the Year candidate Kyle Filipowski. The sophomore forward leads the team in both scoring (18.2 ppg) and rebounding (8.6 rpg), and is third in assists (2.9 apg). Brandont Huntley-Hatfield has held his own against some of the best big men in this league already, but Tuesday night might be his most important challenge yet, especially if Roach and Mitchell are still sidelined.

Louisville is (unofficially) the worst perimeter defense team in the history of basketball at any level, and that ineptitude could very well be on full display once again Tuesday night. Duke is 25th in the country in three-point field goal percentage (37.9 percent) and has made 10 or more triples in each of its last three games.

Duke has also been one of the best teams in the country at limiting turnovers. The Blue Devils rank ninth nationally in fewest turnovers (9.3 per game) and 10th in assist/turnover ratio (1.76).

Injuries could open the door for the Cardinals to make things respectable in this one, but only if they’re light years better defensively than what we saw on Saturday in Winston-Salem.

Notable:

—After winning three straight games over Duke in 2020 and 2021, Louisville has lost its last three contests against the Blue Devils.

—U of L is heading into the final game of four straight matchups against teams in the top five in the ACC standings. Those teams are a combined 21-6 in league play.

—Duke’s Jon Scheyer and Louisville’s Kenny Payne are the only two active head coaches to win a national championship as both a player and coach.

—Louisville has given up at least 75 points in six of its seven conference games so far this season.

—The Cardinals’ defense is No. 250 or worse in every major defensive metric and ranks No. 244 in efficiency.

—Louisville is 3-3 all-time against Duke in games played inside the KFC Yum Center.

—Louisville is 5-7 against Duke since joining the ACC in 2014-15.

—Louisville is the only program in college basketball that played at least 10 games against Mike Krzyzewski and owned a winning record (9-8) against the now retired Hall of Famer.

—Louisville assistant Nolan Smith was an All-American player at Duke and was an assistant on the Blue Devil staff two seasons ago.

—Louisville beat Duke 72-69 in the 1986 NCAA Championship game behind Final Four Most Outstanding Player Pervis Ellison’s 25 points, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots.

—Over the last five games, the Cardinals are 38-for-88 (43.2%) from 3-point range. Louisville has had a positive assist-to-turnover ratio in six of the last eight games after only accomplishing the feat in two of the first 10 games.

—Duke returns 60.4 points per game from last year’s ACC tournament champions roster, the most by a Duke team since the 2008-09 season, and brings back 77.9% of points scored in 2022-23 — the most since the 2007-08 Duke team returned 81.3%.

—Louisville is 3-25 in ACC games under the direction of head coach Kenny Payne.

—Louisville is 223-15 over the last 20 seasons and 20-3 over the last three when scoring 80 points or more. The Cards are 4-1 in such games this season.

—Since 2004, Louisville is 129-0 when leading by more than 10 points at halftime.

—Louisville has won 162 consecutive games when holding an opponent under 50 points.

Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Duke 84, Louisville 70