Louisville Welcomes Syracuse for Top 25 Match-Up
In their first game as the #1 team in the country, Louisville women's basketball will welcome #23 Syracuse to the KFC Yum! Center. The Cards will face their second ranked opponent of the season.
UofL is 12-0 on the year and needs just one more game to meet the 13-game minimum to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. They boast a 5-0 conference record, putting them in a tie for first with #2 NC State.
Syracuse comes into the game fresh off a Tuesday victory over North Carolina, the same team that took down the Orange quite soundly back in December. They hold a 4-1 conference record that also saw wins against Boston College and Miami twice. Having four cancelled games already, Syracuse has only played eight games this season.
The post has been a strength of Syracuse this year, dominating in the paint. Eight players on the roster stand at six feet or taller. They average 7.13 blocks per game, giving them a heavy edge over the rest of the conference. Quentin Hillsman's team has had a promising defense on the year, allowing 33.5% from the field and 26% from three. Offensively, they sit just behind UofL and NC State, averaging 78.6 points per game.
Freshman Kamilla Cardoso has averaged almost a double-double on the year with 14.9 points per game and 9.3 rebounds per game. They have two other players with high rebounding marks. Emily Engstler averages 10.2 rebounds per game and Dana Stroutmane averages 7.8 rebounds per game.
Louisville will have their hands full with Cuse. If it comes down to rebounding and second chance points things can quickly get ugly for the Cards. It does appear this could be a shootout with both teams pushing toward the 80-and-90-point marks.
The Cards hold a 13-7 advantage all-time against Syracuse. Since joining the ACC, Louisville has won seven of the nine meetings. One of those two losses came last season in a stretch where Louisville fell to the USA Women's National Team, Florida State, and Syracuse all in a row. The Cards later avenged their loss by taking down the Orange in the ACC Tournament.
ESPN2 has picked this game up, probably why we see a 9:00 p.m., tip-off. It's rumored Deb Antonelli and Beth Mowins will have the call on the four-letter network. Interestingly, Mowins is a Syracuse grad, so I'm sure there will be no bias there, right? Most games have lasted a little under two hours this year so it'll be nearly 11:00 when we hear the final buzzer sound. You can also catch this on 790-AM Cards Radio WKRD-AM called by Nick Curran and Adrienne Johnson. Another good game, Tennessee vs. UConn WBB tips at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
With Louisville, NC State, Syracuse, and Florida State holding the top four spots in the ACC, there were two big games planned for tonight. Sadly, NC State vs Florida State has been postponed so all eyes will be on the Cards and Orange.
The "Q" show rolls into town tonight and it should be a classic. He always puts on a show and we suspect he'll be working the sidelines like a carnival barker on a Saturday night at the county fair.
Happy Thursday and Go Cards!