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Beth Maiman | NCAA.com | February 22, 2017

UNC defeats Cardinals, win third straight

No. 8 North Carolina defeated No. 7 Louisville 74-63 at Dean Smith Center on Wednesday night.

Louisville (22-6, 10-5 ACC) was lead by Donovan Mitchell who scored 21 points while tallying four rebounds and three assits. On Sunday, Cardinals will play Syracuse, who are coming off an epic win against Duke. Louisville has struggled against strong conference opponents this season, as the Cardinals are 0-5 against Top-25 ACC teams. 

North Carolina (24-5, 12-3 ACC) has won three straight games since falling to Duke on the road 86-78. The Tar Heels' leading scorere was Justin Jackson, who tallied 21 points. However, three other Tar Heels scored in the double digits. North Carolina hits the road to play Pittsburgh next on Saturday. 

With four games remaining in the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season, No. 7 Louisville and No. 8 North Carolina are two of four primary contenders for the league crown, with the Tar Heels leading and the Cardinals just a game behind. Both teams are firing on all cylinders, as Louisville has won six of its last seven games, and North Carolina has won four of its last five.

Players to watch

Cardinals guard Donovan Mitchell is averaging a team-high 15.6 points per game, 4.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists while leading the ACC in steals (2.1 per game).

Justin Jackson has led the Tar Heels in scoring seven of the last eight games, including a 20-point effort in the team’s 65-41 rout of Virginia on Saturday night. He is averaging 4.7 points and 2.6 assists while hitting a team-high 74 3-pointers.

Key stats

North Carolina was held under 70 points on Saturday for just the fourth time this season, and is 1-3 in such games.

The Cardinals have an 0-4 record against Top-25 ACC teams.

Louisville is holding opponents to 64.1 points per game.

North Carolina leads the ACC with 44 rebounds per game.

The Cardinals, who are averaging 10.9 turnovers per game, force 14.3.

Since Louisville joined the ACC, the teams have split four matchups.

Injuries

Cardinals guard Tony Hicks has not played since Jan. 24 due to a hand injury.

Due to a thigh injury, Louisville forward V.J. King did not play in Saturday’s win over Virginia Tech. 

 

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