Louisville at Notre Dame: What you need to know

Tom Noie
ND Insider
It's been a rocky road for Notre Dame this season, but it's been ever rockier for Louisville guard El Ellis, left, and first-year head coach Kenny Payne, who arrive in South Bend for Saturday's game at 2-18 overall and 0-9 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.


WHO: Notre Dame (9-12 overall; 1-9 ACC) vs. Louisville (2-18; 0-9) 

WHERE: Purcell Pavilion (9,149) 

WHEN: Saturday at noon. 


RADIO: WSBT (960 AM). 

TICKETS: Plenty available. 

ONLINE: Follow every Notre Dame game with live updates from Tribune beat writer Tom Noie at 

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NOTING: Guard El Ellis scored 17 points with five assists and forward Jae’lyn Withers added 16 points and seven rebounds in Louisville’s 75-65 loss Wednesday at Boston College. The Cardinals led for 24:39 overall and by as many as 12 points in the first half. They shot 53.1 percent from the field, 50.3 percent from 3 and 66.7 percent from the foul line. They committed 19 turnovers. … Rather than return home, the Cardinals traveled Thursday evening to South Bend from Boston. ... Louisville has lost nine straight for a second time this season. Its two wins — over Chaminade and Western Kentucky — occurred consecutively in mid-December. The Cardinals are 0-5 on the road, 0-8 overall away from home. … Louisville returned one starter off last year’s team that finished 13-19 overall, 6-14 and tied for 11th in the 15-team Atlantic Coast Conference. The Cardinals were picked this preseason to finish 11th. … After winning 24 games in 2019-20, the Cardinals won a combined 26 (13-13) the last two years. … After having two coaches (Denny Crum, Rick Pitino) over 46 seasons, Louisville is on its fifth head coach (Kenny Payne) in its last nine. … Louisville leads the all-time series 27-17. Notre Dame is 10-8 at home. The series as ACC colleagues is tied (5-5). The Irish have won each of the last two meetings after dropping the previous six. ... This is the only regular-season matchup. ... Notre Dame is 0-2 (North Carolina State, Miami, Fla.) against non-repeat league opponents this season. … Louisville enters the weekend in last place — 15th — and is the league’s only winless team in conference play. Notre Dame is tied for 13th with Georgia Tech. … Ellis ranks third in the league in scoring (17.8 ppg.) and is the only Cardinal averaging double figures. Leading rebounder Brandon Huntley-Hatfield (6.0 rpg.), a Tennessee transfer, has missed the last three games with a foot injury. ... Louisville’s best ranking in the ACC statistics is 11th for 3-point field goal percentage (.323). It ranks 12th in free throw percentage (.714), 13th for 3-point field goal percentage defense (.350), rebounding margin (-2.30) and steals (5.20), 14th for blocks (2.65) and 15th — last — in scoring offense (62.5 ppg.), scoring defense (75.2), scoring margin ((-12.7), field goal percentage (.409), field goal percentage defense (.477), assists (8.80), turnover margin (-4.30) and assist/turnover ratio (0.53). … Irish power forward Nate Laszewski is second in the ACC in free throw shooting (.861 percent); guard Dane Goodwin is second in minutes played (36.06). … Notre Dame has allowed season highs for points — 84 and 85 — in each of its last two games. … The Irish have lost four straight, seven of nine and 10 of 12. They are 0-2 since head coach Mike Brey announced that this will be his last season after 23 at Notre Dame. … After going 9-1 in league play at home last season, Notre Dame is 1-4. 

QUOTING: “To me, it's strictly fight. Strictly doing whatever it takes to win a game. Take out the strategy. It doesn't mean anything. We're two dogs and there's one bone. Who's going to eat? That's the mentality you've got to have." — Louisville coach Kenny Payne

Tom Noie