By Beau Kilpatrick—
The No. 13 Louisville Cardinals hosted the NC State Wolfpack in an ACC “white-out” matinee Sunday afternoon. NC State started the game with two consecutive three-pointers but the Cardinals quickly soared back to win 85-60 in the KFC YUM! Center.
U of L’s starting point guard Quentin Snider is still sitting the sideline with a hip flexor injury. Snider isn’t expected to return for at least two more weeks. Backup guard Tony Hicks broke a bone in his hand last week during the blowout against Pittsburg. He is scheduled to miss the next few weeks as well with a spiral fracture.
Donovan Mitchell has been filling the role of Snider, moving from his shooting guard position. Mitchell, David Levitch, and Ryan McMahon have contributed greatly to the recent offensive explosion of the Cards.
Mitchell led all scorers in the annihilation of NC State with 28 points. He was 9-17 from the field and he shot 60 percent from three-point land, making 6-10. Mitchell also gathered eight rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Mitchell’s performance has been phenomenal this season. His efforts have made up for the injured Snider.
David Levitch received his second start under coach Pitino. Levitch scored six points on a pair of three-pointers, had three assists and two steals. Ryan McMahon added five points and a steal in the contest.
The full box score: http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/boxscore?gameId=400915409
The big man, Mangok Mathiang, has been on the rise as of late. He has had multiple games in a row where he has scored into double-digits. Mathiang put up 14 points and five rebounds against the Wolfpack. Deng Adel remains consistent and his performance can easily be predicted every week. Once again, Adel scored 10 points and played great defense.
Louisville’s last three of four games have been quite impressive. They beat Clemson by 32 but lost to No. 6 Florida State in a close road game. The Cardinals then destroyed Pitt by 55, and NC State by 25.
This impressive streak has propelled Louisville into the top ten. These impressive wins, mixed with key losses by top-ten teams like: Kentucky, Florida State, UCLA, North Carolina, and Oregon have helped to bump the Cardinals up to No. 6 in the newest AP Polls.
Louisville is doing what coach Pitino is best at; and that is hitting their stride at the most opportune time. Pitino is known for his teams playing above the expectations in January and February. With nine more games remaining in the final month of the regular season, the Cardinals are looking better each week as they approach the ACC tournament. As of now, U of L is only a single game behind ACC leaders North Carolina and Virginia. Louisville will face both of these teams in the next month and both will be road games.
Full conference standings: http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/standings/_/group/2
The No. 6 (18-4) Louisville Cardinals, led by Donovan Mitchell, will travel to Massachusetts for their next game to challenge the (9-13) Golden Eagles of Boston College University. The matchup will be broadcasted this Saturday, February 4, at 3 p.m. on local station WHAS (TWC/Spectrum channel 4).
This game against BCU is probably the softest matchup that Louisville has remaining on their schedule, and experts agree that U of L has one of the most challenging schedules in the country due to the stack of ranked teams in the ACC.
As always, GO CARDS!! #L1C4