The #9 Duke Blue Devils (16-3, 6-2 ACC) clash with the Louisville Cardinals (11-9, 5-5 ACC) on Saturday afternoon. The Atlantic Coast Conference showdown will be the first for Louisville without former head coach Chris Mack who let go earlier this week. Saturday’s matchup is the only time these two teams will face each other this season.
Saturday’s matchup is scheduled to tip-off at noon EST inside the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, KY.
What to Know – Duke Blue Devils
Duke and head coach Mike Krzyzewski aim to stay within reach of the top spot in the ACC and improve their away record. The Blue Devils rank 11th in the KenPom rankings and 13th in the NCAA’s NET rankings.
The Blue Devils are one of the top-scoring teams in the nation, averaging 82.0 points per game, 49.1 percent shooting from the field, and 37.4 percent from beyond the arc. Duke’s defense surrenders 65.8 points, 40.4 percent shooting from the floor, and 29.6 percent from three.
The Blue Devils pulled away late to secure a 71-69 home victory on Tuesday night against the Clemson Tigers. Paolo Banchero poured in a team-high 19 points, and Mark Williams chipped in ten points and grabbed ten rebounds. Duke connected on 10-of-20 3-point field goal attempts in the victory.
Duke is 10-6-3 against the spread this year with a 1-2 record away from Cameron Indoor. The Blue Devils are 1-4 ATS in their previous five games against Louisville.
What to Know – Louisville Cardinals
Louisville plays its first game without their head coach, handing the reins over to interim coach Mike Pegues. The Cardinals sit in the middle of the ACC standings. Louisville ranks 114th in both the KenPom and NET rankings.
On offense, the Cardinals score 68.5 points per game while shooting 42.2 from the field and 32.0 percent beyond the arc. Louisville’s defense holds opponents to 67.7 points, 41.4 percent shooting from the floor, and 32.7 percent from the 3-point line.
Monday night’s 64-52 defeat at Virginia was the last straw for Cardinal brass, who parted ways with Mack. Louisville took a 12-point deficit into half and never was able to recover. Jarrod West was the Cardinals’ leading scorer with 14 points off the bench in the defeat.
The Cardinals own a 6-12-2 record ATS and a 3-7-1 mark on their home court. Louisville is 1-6 ATS over their last seven games.
The Pick is In
Duke and Louisville meet up for the only time this season in a pairing of a future Hall of Fame head coach and interim head coach. The Blue Devils and Cardinals are two of the ACC’s most storied programs, and you can expect the Cardinals to come out fighting against Duke.
Louisville has been having a rollercoaster season, but the Cardinals have a handful of quality wins under their belt. Saturday’s game will be the toughest test for Louisville this year, and playing it without their former head coach will be hard.
The Cardinals keep it close early, but the Blue Devils talent and depth pull away in the second half for a comfortable double-digit victory.
Betting Pick: Duke Blue Devils 79-63