Notre Dame Basketball: What you need to know when the Irish visit Louisville in ACC play

Tom Noie
ND Insider

MEN’S BASKETBALL 

Jan 19, 2022; Louisville, Kentucky, USA;  Louisville Cardinals forward Sydney Curry (21) dunks against the Boston College Eagles during the first half at KFC Yum! Center. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

► WHO: Notre Dame (11-6 overall; 4-2 ACC) vs. Louisville (11-7; 5-3) 

► WHERE: KFC Yum! Center (22,090), Louisville, Ky. 

► WHEN: Saturday at 4 p.m. 

► TV: ESPN. 

►RADIO: WSBT (960 AM). 

► ONLINE: Follow every Notre Dame game with live updates from Tribune beat writer Tom Noie at twitter.com/tnoieNDI. 

More men's basketball:That was then, this is now for Notre Dame

► NOTING: Freshman power forward Sydney Curry returned from an ankle injury for 13 points and seven rebounds and Noah Locke and Jae’lyn Withers each scored 10 in Louisville’s 67-54 home victory Wednesday over Boston College. The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Cardinals, who previously had won three in a row and four of five. They fielded their ninth different starting lineup against the Eagles. The game, which featured six ties and six lead changes, was delayed 75 minutes because of a leaky arena roof. Louisville held Boston College to .296 percent from the field and .200 percent from 3. The Eagles also shot .545 percent from the free throw line. Louisville finished with 24 bench points. … The Cardinals are 7-3 at home, 3-1 in ACC play. They average 69.3 ppg., 11th in the league, and have only one player averaging double figures for points. Locke, a Florida transfer who considered Notre Dame coming out of high school, leads Louisville in scoring at 10.8 ppg. … Now in his fourth season, head coach Chris Mack still is seeking his first NCAA tournament win. The Cardinals haven’t played in the NCAA tournament since 2019 and last won an NCAA game in 2017 … Louisville returned two starters off last year’s team that finished 13-7 overall, 8-5 and seventh place in the ACC. The Cardinals were picked this preseason to finish sixth in the league with one first-place vote. The Irish were picked eighth. … Louisville leads the all-time series 27-15, 13-3 at home and 5-3 as ACC colleagues. The Cardinals have won six straight and eight of the last 11. The last Irish win was Jan. 4, 2017. After one stretch where four straight and five of six went to at least one overtime, only one of the teams’ last 11 meetings has gone to overtime – Jan. 16, 2018. … For only the second time as ACC colleagues, Louisville is one of six repeat league opponents. The teams meet again Feb. 9 in South Bend. … Louisville ranks first in the ACC in field goal percentage defense (.401) and third in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.310). It ranks 12th in free throw percentage (.689) while Notre Dame is first (.757). … Cardinals power forward Malik Williams is third in the ACC in rebounding (8.76); Irish power forward Nate Laszewski is seventh (7.41). Irish guard Dane Goodwin is the only player in all major Division I conferences averaging 50/40/90 - shooting at least 50 percent from the field (.508), 40 percent from 3 (.474) and 90 percent from the foul line (.919).  … Notre Dame heads into weekend play in a three-way tie with Duke and North Carolina for third place in the ACC. Louisville is in a three-way tie for sixth with Wake Forest and Virginia. … This is the last of three straight road games for Notre Dame, which next plays three in a row and four of six at home, where it’s one of two league teams (North Carolina) still undefeated overall at home (7-0). … Winners of seven of its last eight, Notre Dame has been idle since a 71-68 victory Monday at Howard. Four days is the longest stretch between games the rest of the regular season for the Irish.  

►QUOTING: "Anytime you drop a few in a row, it is hard. It is hard to feel confident about yourself and your team. We have to learn from the things we have to clean up. We need to get ready to play a really good Notre Dame team.”  — Louisville coach Chris Mack. 

— Tom Noie 

Follow South Bend Tribune and NDInsider columnist Tom Noie on Twitter: @tnoieNDI