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Chris Mack, Mason Faulkner Preview Notre Dame; Russ Smith Talks Jersey Retirement

The Cardinals kick off a tough stretch in ACC play against the Fighting Irish, and are honoring one of their top players in program history.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The Louisville men's basketball program took a badly needed step back in the right direction on Wednesday night.

On a three game losing streak, with their NCAA Tournament hopes on life support, the Cardinals showed that they did still have a heartbeat against Boston College. It was by no means the prettiest win Louisville has ever produced, but it was still a 67-54 victory regardless, and was the first step towards salvaging the hope that they can still make the Big Dance.

"We need every win," guard Mason Faulkner said. "We don't really focus on who we're playing, or the previous game, because we can't get that back. We try to win every game. These next few games are the biggest game of the season, so to speak. It was very important (defeating BC), but we're just going to try to keep winning."

From here on out, Atlantic Coast Conference play doesn't get any easier. Louisville now has a crucial stretch where they play teams in the upper half of the ACC standings, and that stretch starts with Notre Dame on Saturday.

"They're one of the biggest offensive challenges we've faced all year," head coach Chris Mack said. "They do it because the threat of the three is real, and it's real from so many different positions ... They have five players, that at any given time, can knock back-to-back-to-back threes in. It spreads the floor defensively."

Potentially saving their NCAA Tournament dreams is not the only reason why Saturday is such a big day for Louisville. At halftime against the Fighting Irish, the program will officially retire former All-American guard Russ Smith's No. 2 jersey.

Prior to the matchup, Mack and Faulkner took time to meet with the media. They discussed the previous game against Boston College, previewed the upcoming game vs. Notre Dame, discussed their favorite Russ Smith memories, and more.

Smith also met with the media, having a chance to discuss what the jersey retirement meant to him, while also reflecting on his time at Louisville, his professional basketball career, his ventures into bourbon, and more.

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Below are their videos from their press conference:

Head Coach Chris Mack

Guard Mason Faulkner

Russ Smith

(Photo of Russ Smith: Kim Klement - USA TODAY Sports)

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