NCAA Tournament: Louisville Cardinals clash with ACC foe


Out of the eight games being played for the sweet sixteen, the Atlantic Coast Conference claims teams in four of those games, with one of those games hosting two ACC foes going head to head, Louisville and NC State.

In the regular season game, the Wolfpack came into the KFC Yum! Center and gave the Cardinals the hand of defeat, leaving Louisville with a nine point victory.

However, this isn’t conference play any longer, these two teams mean in angst to punch their ticket to the Elite 8, to play either Oklahoma or Michigan State.

The Wolfpack made noise in their last tourney game, giving the first one seed of the tournament a bump off the bracket. NC State also enters this game with he lower seeding, but sophomore Anthony “Cat” Barber, who has been one of most exciting players to watch throughout the end of this season, should have reason to believe that can pull off the upset. Barber has combined for 30 points so far this tourney, as well as eight rebounds and five assists. He should provide quite the problem for the Cardinals again this go around, after dropping 21 points in Louisville their first meeting.

Cat Barber spoke to the media after practice yesterday, giving his thoughts on the impending game.

"Even though it’s the Sweet 16 game, it’s pretty much a league game. We knew at some point we could play an ACC team, and we’re ready for it. Our league prepares you for the moment."

Wolfpack Head coach Mark Gottfried also took the podium yesterday, and had his own comments regarding Cat Barber.

"I think he’s been terrific. What I like about Cat’s play is he’s turned it loose without the fear of making mistakes.He’s made a huge difference for us. Big-time difference in our team when he plays at a high level."

Rick Pitino and the Cardinals no doubt will have to find ways on how to limit the impact of Barber throughout the game.

Louisville was able to knock off Northern Iowa last round, stopping the Panthers in their tracks in the round of 32. A big help in that outing, and one to note for this evening no doubt is the Cardinals’ own sophomore phenom Terry Rozier. The guard leads the Cardinals in scoring, and has totaled 37 points so far this tournament (25 coming in the win against UNI) as well as 12 assists (7 vs UNI) and 8 rebounds (5 vs UNI).

Rick Pitino realizes that seeding must be disregarded in this ACC matchup, and commented so at yesterday’s presser.

"We have great respect for them, they beat us at home. A lot of teams don’t beat us at home. It was a close game, and they pulled away. They’re a team right now that can beat you so many ways.”"

The huge difference between that game and now is the removal of senior guard Chris Jones from the Louisville roster. Jones had 20 points for the Cards in the first meeting along with his dynamic defensive skill set.

This now makes the Cardinals fourth consecutive Sweet 16 appearance, a school record under Pitino. Louisville will have their hands full this evening, in what should be a very interesting game. The action tips off from Syracuse at 7:37 ET.