Preview: Louisville Cardinals vs. Duke Blue Devils

The Cardinals travel to Durham, N.C. for a crucial rematch with the Blue Devils.
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(Photo of David Johnson: Rob Kinnen/USA TODAY Sports)

Louisville Cardinals (12-5, 7-4 ACC) at Duke Blue Devils (11-8, 9-6 ACC)

- Tipoff: Saturday, February 27th at 6:00 p.m. EST
- Location: Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C.
- How To Watch: ESPN
- How To Listen: WKRD 790/WHAS 840
- Betting Favorite: Duke -5.5
- All-Time Series: Duke leads 10-8
- Last Meeting: Louisville won 70-65 on Jan. 23, 2021 (KFC Yum! Center - Louisville, Ky.)

Projected Starting Lineups


  • F Samuell Williamson (6-7, 210, So.)
  • F Dre Davis (6-5, 220, Fr.)
  • C Jae'Lyn Withers (6-8, 215, R-Fr.)
  • G Carlik Jones (6-2, 185, Gr.)
  • G David Johnson (6-5, 210, So.)


  • F Wendell Moore (6-5, 216, So.)
  • F Matthew Hurt (6-9, 235, So.)
  • C Mark Williams (7-0, 243, Fr.)
  • G DJ Steward (6-2, 163, Fr.)
  • G Jeremy Roach (6-1, 175, Fr.)

Main Storylines

Here are the more significant storylines to follow ahead of Louisville's matchup with Duke: Points of Emphasis: Louisville vs. Duke


See how the Cardinals stack up against the Blue Devils, and who the statistical models favor: Tale of The Tape & Prediction: Louisville vs. Duke

Game Notes


  • Louisville will play one of its two remaining road games of the season as the Cardinals face the Duke Blue Devils in Durham, N.C. for the second time this season on Saturday.
  • Louisville won 69-57 over Notre Dame on Tuesday in the KFC Yum! Center as Carlik Jones led the Cardinals with 18 points and four assists, while Jae’Lyn Withers produced his third double-double of the season with 12 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. UofL outrebounded the Fighting Irish 45-30, its fifth double-digit rebounding margin of the season and fourth in ACC games.
  • Malik Williams made his season debut at North Carolina, contributing four points, three rebounds and an assist. He followed that with eight points and 10 rebounds vs. Notre Dame, his 10th career double-figure rebounding effort. The runner-up in voting for the 2019-20 ACC Sixth Man of the Year, the Cardinals’ team co-captain had surgery Nov. 11 to repair a broken bone in his right foot and missed UofL’s first 15 games.
  • Carlik Jones, named to The Sporting News Mid-Season All-America team and the Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 Watch List, scored his 1,800th career point at North Carolina. Jones has 99 career double-figure scoring efforts, including the last 39 consecutive games (all 16 at UofL). He is the first person in UofL history to reach double figures in his first 16 games at UofL.
  • Carlik Jones is one of just two players in the ACC to rank among the top 10 in each of scoring (17.21 ppg, 4th in the ACC), assists (4.5 apg, 4th), steals (1.5, 9th), assists/turnovers ratio (1.89, 5th) and free throw percentage (.833, 4th).
  • Samuell Williamson has averaged 10.8 points and 10.6 rebounds over the last five games, grabbing double-digit boards in three of the last four. He is second for the Cardinals in rebounding (7.6 rpg) and ranks sixth in the ACC.
  • Louisville is among the top defensive teams in the ACC, ranking third in the ACC in field goal percentage defense (.414), fourth in scoring defense (65.8 ppg) and first in three-point field goal defense (.311). UofL has held nine opponents below 40 percent accuracy from the field.
  • Carlik Jones and David Johnson have combined to score 42 percent of the Cardinals’ points in ACC games, while Jae’Lyn Withers and Samuell Williamson have collectively pulled down 43 percent of UofL’s rebounding total in conference games. Williamson is averaging 11.5 rebounds over the last four games, grabbing double digit rebounds in three of the last four.
  • UofL has made 75.5 percent of its free throws in the final five minutes of its games (71-of-94). The Cardinals are eighth in the ACC in free throw percentage for the season (.724). Louisville has shot 75 percent or better from the free throw line on 11 occasions this season, including 75 percent (9-of-12) at North Carolina two games ago.
  • Louisville has won the rebounding battle in 11 games this year, including eight ACC games (45-30 advantage vs. Notre Dame in its last game). Louisville is 10-1 in games when out-rebounding its opponent. UofL’s +6.3 rebounding advantage in conference games is second in the ACC, and its +5.6 margin on the season is third best. Louisville produced double-digit rebounding margins in four ACC games.


  • Duke plays at Cameron Indoor Stadium for the final time this season, hosting Louisville on Saturday for Senior Night as the Blue Devils will honor Jordan Goldwire and Mike Buckmire before the game.
  • With three games remaining in the ACC regular season, the Blue Devils and Cardinals enter Saturday separated by three places and just a few percentage points in the standings.
  • Duke is 11-4 since the start of the 2017-18 season when playing an ACC opponent in the regular season for a second time » Duke’s four-game winning streak came over a 10-day span by an average margin of 13.8 points, while holding the opponents to 62.3 points and just .319 from behind the arc.
  • Over the current four-game win streak, Duke has 77 assists against 44 turnovers (+1.75), and has assisted on 65.8 percent of the team’s made field goals (77 assists on 117 made field goals).
  • On a late-season tear, sophomore sharpshooter Matthew Hurt enters the game averaging 20.8 points over his last four contests.
  • A candidate for ACC Player of the Year and Most Improved Player, Hurt joins Gonzaga’s Corey Kispert as the only players in college basketball shooting better than 56 percent from the field, better than 46 percent from three-point range and making more than six field goals per game.
  • A Blue Devil has been the ACC’s leading freshman scorer in six of the last seven seasons, and freshman DJ Steward is on pace to make it seven of the last eight. Steward leads all ACC freshmen at 13.4 points.
  • Senior Jordan Goldwire leads the ACC in assist/turnover ratio (+2.72), is second in the league in steals (2.5 -- 12th in the NCAA) and is seventh in the ACC in assists (3.8).
  • Goldwire’s 18 multi-steal games are tied for the most nationally and he ranks third on Duke’s single-season steals per game list.
  • Top to bottom, Duke has one of the nation’s youngest rosters -- ranked as the fifth most inexperienced in the nation of the 287 ranked by KenPom, behind only Alabama A&M, Auburn, Stetson and Presbyterian.
  • A Blue Devil has been the ACC’s freshman scoring leader in six of the last seven seasons and seven of the last nine. Freshman DJ Steward is looking to keep that run going in 2020-21, as Steward is ranked first in scoring among the conference’s freshman corps at 13.4 points per game (ranked 19th in the NCAA).
  • Sophomore Wendell Moore Jr., came off the bench at Pitt on Jan. 19, giving Duke 31 minutes and hitting 5-of-10 from the field, including a career-high three made three-pointers, for 15 points.He has started the 10 games since Pitt, and making contributions all over the box score for the Blue Devils

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