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North Carolina Tar Heels vs Louisville Cardinals: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

Where: KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky

When: Saturday, February 2nd at 2:00 PM EST

How (TV): ESPN

North Carolina Tar Heels (Away)

Head Coach: Roy Williams {Overall: 16-4 .800 W-L% | Conference: 6-1, 4th in ACC}

The North Carolina Tar Heels will be entering this match looking for revenge as they dropped their last meeting against Louisville at home 83-62. It was Roy Williams’ worst loss as the head coach of the Tar Heels, but his team has responded by not losing a match since.

Despite some matchup issues, North Carolina remains one of the best rebounding teams in the country. In 20 matches this year they’ve won the rebounding battle 17 times. In the three matches that they lost the rebounding battle, they lost all three games.

It was Steven Enoch that led the Cardinals on the glass to defeat the Tar Heels in their last meeting. Also important to note is that in their last meeting the Tar Heels were 3-22 from three-point range. To lose on the glass usually spells doom for the Tar Heels, but if their shooting isn’t up to standard Louisville could take another one from North Carolina.

Louisville Cardinals (Home)

Head Coach: Chris Mack {Overall: 16-5 .762 W-L% | Conference: 7-1, 1st in ACC}

Louisville will take pride in hosting a team that they blew out in their last meeting. The Cardinals had four players score in double figures, including one player coming off the bench to lead them in rebounding in Steven Enoch.

While the Cardinals owned the Tar Heels on the boards it is important to note that Louisville was lights out from everywhere on the court. The Cardinals shot 61% from within the arc and 42% from beyond the arc. Dwayne Sutton and Steven Enoch in particular were excellent for the Cardinals in their last meeting, going a combined 11/16 in the paint.

Matchups are in the Cardinals favour in this game, but if they can’t convert on their shooting it’ll be a grittier matchup. Look for the Louisville Cardinals to establish themselves inside to begin the game, then stretch out the Tar Heels when they force North Carolina to pack the paint.

North Carolina Roster Notes

G Rechon Black – 30 Jan 2019 – (Ankle) is listed as questionable.

F Sterling Manley – 30 Jan 2019 – (Knee) is listed as questionable.

Louisville Roster Notes

Louisville has no roster injuries to note.

Head-to-Head: Garrison Brooks vs Steven Enoch

Garrison Brooks

Forward | 6-9, 215lb (206cm, 97kg) | Auburn HS | Lafayette, AL | Sophomore

8.2 PPG | 1.2 APG | 6.0 RPG | 0.6 SPG | 0.6 BPG | 1.1 TOV | .529 FG% | .000 3P%

Steven Enoch

Center | 6-10, 245lb (208cm, 111kg) | St. Thomas More HS | Norwalk, CT | Junior

9.7 PPG | 0.1 APG | 5.3 RPG | 0.2 SPG | 0.7 BPG | 1.3 TOV | .566 FG% | .368 3P%

It’ll be an old school matchup in the paint when the North Carolina Tar Heels take on the Louisville Cardinals. Rebounding defined the last matchup between the two teams and rebounding will likely decide the second leg of this series.

Garrison Brooks will have the task of handling the Louisville bigs on the inside. In the last match he completely neutralized by the Cardinals, totalling zero rebounds on the night. Brooks is a strong post-defender and cannot afford to have another night like the previous match with Louisville.

At 6’10 and 260 pounds Steven Enoch is a dangerous player for the Cardinals. Coming off the bench, Enoch was able to completely out match his check all game in their last meeting. He had a season high 17 points and 11 rebounds against the Cardinals last time out. While his role has increased since that performance, Enoch will look to play with the same efficiency.

North Carolina Tar Heels at Louisville Cardinals Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have the North Carolina Tar Heels favoured over the Louisville Cardinals by 1.5, with an over/under of 110.

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AUTHOR

Christian Jope

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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.

Email: [email protected]

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