Preview: Louisville Cardinals vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

The Cardinals are hoping to bounce back from their worst loss since before World War II
Publish date:

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-11, 6-8 ACC) at Louisville Cardinals (11-5, 6-4 ACC)

- Tipoff: Wednesday, February 23rd at 7:00 p.m. EST
- Location: KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky.
- How To Watch: ACC Network
- How To Listen: WKRD 790/WHAS 840
- Betting Favorite: Louisville -2.5
- All-Time Series: Louisville leads 25-15
- Last Meeting: Louisville won 67-64 on Jan. 11, 2020 (Phillip J. Purcell Pavilion - South Bend, Ind.)

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.)

Notre Dame

  • F Juwan Durham (6-11, 231, Gr.)
  • F Nate Laszewski (6-10, 227, Jr.)
  • G Prentiss Hubb (6-3, 175, Jr.)
  • G Cormac Ryan (6-5, 195, Jr.)
  • G Dan Goodwin (6-6, 200, Jr.)

Main Storylines

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


See how the Cardinals stack up against the Fighting Irish, and who the statistical models favor: Tale of The Tape & Prediction: Louisville vs. Notre Dame

Game Notes


  • Louisville will play its first home game in 22 days and its second in that stretch as the Cardinals face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Tuesday in the KFC Yum! Center. In its first game since Feb. 1, Louisville fell 99-54 at North Carolina on Feb. 20 as Carlik Jones led the Cardinals with 13 points and four steals. Samuell Williamson added nine points and 10 rebounds, his third straight double-digit rebounding effort.
  • UofL will provide a tribute to its 1986 NCAA Championship team at halftime of Tuesday’s game on the 35th anniversary year of their achievement with a halftime video including interviews with team members. The team will gather for a reunion after the pandemic has passed.
  • Malik Williams made his season debut at North Carolina, contributing four points, three rebounds and an assist. The runner-up in voting for the 2019- 20 ACC Sixth Man of the Year, the 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 98 career double-figure scoring efforts, including the last 38 consecutive games (all 15 at UofL). If he scores 10 or more vs. Notre Dame, he would be 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 (17.1 ppg, 3rd in the ACC), assists (4.5 apg, 3rd), steals (1.5, 7th), assists/turnovers ratio (1.94, 5th) and free throw percentage (.840, 4th).
  • Samuell Williamson has averaged 10.5 points and 11.3 rebounds over the last four games, grabbing double-digit boards in the last three. He leads the Cardinals in rebounding (7.6 rpg) and ranks sixth in the ACC.
  • Louisville has a 60-17 record in its conference home games over the last nine years (.773). UofL has the fourth-most conference home wins in its seven years in the ACC with a 44-14 ACC home record (9-1 last season).
  • Louisville is among the top defensive teams in the ACC, ranking third in the ACC in field goal percentage defense (.417), fourth in scoring defense (66.4 ppg) and second in three-point field goal defense (.315). UofL has held eight opponents below 40 percent accuracy from the field.
  • Louisville has won the rebounding battle in 10 games this year, including seven ACC games (56-39 advantage vs. Georgia Tech two games ago). Louisville is 9-1 in games when out-rebounding its opponent. UofL’s +5.4 rebounding advantage in conference games is third in the ACC, and its +5.0 margin on the season is also third best. Louisville produced double-digit rebounding margins in three ACC games (vs. Pitt, Boston College, Georgia Tech). The Cardinals tied a much taller Florida State team 35-35, and Miami and Florida State are the only ACC teams to beat UofL on the boards. Louisville has faced three of the nation’s five tallest teams in the KenPom analytics this season, winning two of those three matchups (beat 3 Seton Hall and 5 Kentucky, lost to 2 Florida State).
  • Louisville is among the top defensive teams in the ACC, ranking third the ACC in field goal percentage defense (.417) fourth in scoring defense (66.4 ppg) and second in three-point field goal defense (.315). UofL held Duke, Georgia Tech and Pitt to their season-low scoring total and limited Clemson to its third-lowest. The Cardinals held Boston College (.333), Wake Forest (.368) and Georgia Tech (.324) to a season-low field goal percentage. UofL has limited its opponent to below 40 percent accuracy from the field on eight occasions this season (five under 35 percent). The Cardinals limited Kentucky to a season-low in scoring (59 points) and field goal percentage (.345). The Cardinals have held 13 ACC opponents under 60 points in Coach Chris Mack’s third season at Louisville (UofL is 11-2 in those games).
  • With two weeks left in the regular season, Louisville has had eight ACC games postponed for COVID-related issues and has rescheduled just two of those (Feb. 1 vs. Georgia Tech, March 3 vs. Virginia Tech). The Cardinals have four scheduled conference games remaining prior to the ACC Tournament on March 9-13 and stand to miss six ACC games unless others are rescheduled.

Notre Dame

  • Louisville will play its first home game in 22 days as the Cardinals face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Feb. 23 in the KFC Yum! Center. Notre Dame (9-11, 6-8 ACC) has won four of its last six games and six of its last nine, but fell 75-67 at Syracuse in their last game on Feb. 20 after leading by 20 points in the second half. Trey Wertz led the Irish against Syracuse with 17 points, making 5-of-8 three-pointers in the game.
  • All five Notre Dame starters average double figures in scoring, led by Nate Laszewski’s 15.0 points per game (12th in the ACC). Notre Dame leads the nation in fewest personal fouls per game (11.8) and is eighth nationally in fewest turnovers per game (10.3), 10th in assists/turnovers ratio (1.51), 24th in three-point field goal percentage (.381) and 25th in free throw percentage (.771). The Irish are No. 66 in the Sagarin Ratings, No. 58 in ESPN’s College Basketball Power Index (BPI), No. 67 in the NET rankings and No. 57 by Ken Pomeroy through Feb. 21.
  • Louisville leads 25-15 in its series against Notre Dame, winning the last five meetings. In last year’s matchup, Louisville prevailed 67-64 over the Irish in South Bend, Ind. (1-1-20) as Jordan Nwora led the Cardinals with 20 points, Dwayne Sutton produced a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds, and Ryan McMahon added 17 points off the bench.
  • Nine of the last 23 games in the series have been decided in overtime, including four in multiple overtime periods. Louisville was a member of the Big East Conference with Notre Dame for eight seasons (2005-13). Notre Dame joined the ACC in 2013, a year prior to Louisville and it was the only year (2013-14) over the last 15 that the two teams did not play.
  • UofL assistant coach Mike Pegues played for Notre Dame coach Mike Brey at Delaware (1996- 2000) when Pegues scored 2,030 career points.

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