The biggest matchup of the season for the No. 7 Louisville Cardinals, playing at No. 7 North Carolina, was a great opportunity to put themselves in position to not only win the ACC regular season title, but to be in a position for an all-important No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament. A win would put them in the driver’s seat.
An inability to hit from outside and from the free throw line put the Cards in a tough position against a tough opponent on the road. The Cards made only 4 of their 13 free throws and were equally inept from 3-point range going 5 – 20.
U of L didn’t hit a free throw or 3-pointer in the first half, but trailed only 33 – 30 at the half. Deng Adel was strong going to the basket scoring all eight of his points including a monstrous dunk late in the half.
Strong rebounding has been a staple of North Carolina’s teams under Roy Williams and they did not disappoint against the Cards. The Tar Heels outrebounded the Cards 46 – 33 including 16 – 8 on the offensive end.
Donovan Mitchell was the only U of L player to reach double figures. He finished with 21 points on 8 – 15 shooting, but made only 3 – 9 from 3-point range.
The Cards return home Sunday to face Syracuse at 2:00.