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Monday, January 8, 2024


Cards 1/2 Game Back in ACC

Louie lounges amongst active ACC.
In a bit of a scheduling quirk, Louisville had the weekend off. Because the ACC has an odd number of teams, someone will always be left out, and this time it was Louisville. That's not the odd part, though. Louisville is now the only team that has played only two games, while two teams have played four. I would have expected the ACC to work to equalize the number of games early, but I suppose it all works out in the end. 

Either way, sitting idle allowed the Cards to watch the chaos around them. The first shock came when the final buzzer sounded in Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg. That was when NC State's undefeated season ended with a 63-62 loss to Virginia Tech on a buzzer-beating layup by Elizabeth Kitley. For NC State, it may have been even more shocking, since they scored a driving layup with two seconds remaining to regain a lead they had just given up. VT overcame an 11-point fourth quarter deficit by outscoring the Wolfpack 14-2 over the final 6:29. NC State's only two points were the ones they thought would have them snatch back the victory they'd squandered. Alas, no.

The other upset came in Purcell Pavilion, where a North Carolina team was also involved. This time it was UNC, and the team being upset was Notre Dame. The Irish entered the game at 10-2 and ranked 16th, having recovered slightly from the loss in Syracuse to open their conference season. After beating Pitt 71-66, ND welcomed the Tar Heels for their first ACC home game. UNC gave them a nice housewarming gift: a 61-57 loss. 

Both teams featured in this JDA photo from the
2023 ACC Tourney lost yesterday.
While ND was already behind Louisville in the ACC standings at 1-1 (now 1-2), VT's upset of NC State means Louisville moves to third in the league at 2-0. They sit behind UNC and VT who are tied atop the ACC at 3-0. UNC is likely to move into the top 25 after thumping #25 Syracuse 75-51 on Thursday before yesterday's win. VT will almost certainly break into the top 10. The Cards are technically not alone in third, since FSU (3-1) is also a half game back of the leaders.

There is a ton of season remaining as the Cards have 16 conference games left to play. Louisville, to their benefit, did not draw NC State or Virginia Tech twice this season. The Cards will play both teams in February. They'll have seven games to continue to gel before taking on NC State in Raleigh on February 5th. Louisville brings VT to the Yum! Center on February 18th. Louisville also has the great benefit of playing UNC (1/21) and FSU (Leap Day) only once. The Cards will still have to take care of business against the rest of the schedule, but it's a friendly year to chase an ACC regular season title.

Outside of the ACC, today's rankings should see Louisville move up a couple of spots, as the two teams immediately preceding them both lost yesterday. ND had the aforementioned loss to UNC, and Utah fell in overtime against Arizona. We'll see how it all plays out.

How's Paulie?

Wanted to provide a brief update on Paulie for everyone that may not have been able to get in touch. He has returned home from the hospital and is in pain but in good spirits. He plans to start physical therapy this week. Paulie appreciates everyone's well wishes, and we'll be looking forward to him returning to the site and to the sideline later this season.

Get well soon, Paulie!

Until next time, Go Cards!

1 comment:

  1. Feel better soon and get well soon Paulie!

    Nick O


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