Louisville Cardinals at Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Louisville Cardinals Preview

The Louisville Cardinals hit a rough patch after a 9-0 start that led to a No. 1 ranking, going 3-3 in their past six games, although the losses have all been to teams in this week’s Top 25 rankings — Texas Tech, Kentucky and Florida State.

Now comes a pivotal three-game ACC road trip, and coach Chris Mack is preaching an even more complete effort on defense, despite some glossy numbers on that end of the court, such as 36.5 percent shooting from opponents and 61.0 points per game allowed. Junior forward Jordan Nwora leads the way on offense with 20.9 points per game and 48.7 percent shooting, but the only other Cardinal in double-figure scoring is Steven Enoch at 11.5.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish Preview

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have some positives despite a 10-5 record that includes only one victory over a Top 100 team in the kenpom.com rankings. Notre Dame is first nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.85) and commits the fewest fouls per game (11.9).

Good news on the personnel front is that coach Mike Brey said starting guard Rex Pflueger is expected back after sitting out Wednesday’s loss to North Carolina State because of soreness in his surgically repaired left knee. Senior big man John Mooney is a dominant force — nine consecutive double-doubles, 15.8 points and 13.6 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Prentiss Hubb poured in 46 points in the past two games, hitting 10 of 19 3-point attempts.