Two of the best teams in the ACC, if not the country, will meet for the first time this season as No. 3 Duke (15-2) hosts No. 11 Louisville (14-3) inside Cameron Indoor Stadium. Here's everything you need to know about the matchup, including the game time, TV channel and preview information.
Both the Blue Devils and Cardinals are 5-1 in ACC play, tied with Florida State to lead the conference.
Duke vs. Louisville: Time, TV channel
No. 3 Duke will host No. 11 Louisville on Saturday, Jan. 18 in a game that tips off at 6 p.m. ET. Click or tap here to follow live stats.
The game will be broadcast on ESPN and you can stream it on WatchESPN.
MARCH MADNESS PREDICTIONS: Here are Andy Katz's latest NCAA tournament projections
Duke vs. Louisville: Preview
Duke could use the comfort of playing inside Cameron Indoor Stadium after getting upset by Clemson 79-72 on Tuesday night. But even more than that, the Blue Devils would benefit from a healthy roster after Joey Baker (ankle) and Wendell Moore Jr. (hand) were unable to play against the Tigers, which magnified Matthew Hurt's two-point night.
Despite suffering its second loss of the season, Duke still ranks as the most efficient team in the country, according to kenpom.com, with the country's No. 3 offense and No. 5 defense, but playing with a limited rotation against a talented Louisville squad potentially leaves the country's No. 3 team vulnerable to a losing streak.
Louisville, led by National Player of the Year candidate Jordan Nwora (20.4 points per game, 7.4 rebounds per game), has won three games in a row to improve to 5-1 in ACC play after suffering back-to-back losses to Kentucky and Florida State. During their current three-game road trip, the Cardinals squeaked out wins over Notre Dame (67-64) and Pittsburgh (73-68 in OT), and their upcoming trip to Durham is likely the toughest matchup of the three.
Duke's own national player of the year contender, freshman center Vernon Carey Jr., is coming off of a 20-point, eight-rebound game at Clemson and represents a load to deal with in the paint. He's drawing 7.8 fouls per 40 minutes — the fourth-highest mark in the country — and he has shown a willingness to step out and attempt a 3-pointer on occasion, which adds more responsibility for Louisville bigs Steven Enoch and Malik Williams.
Louisville has shot the ball really well from deep four games in a row — 42 percent against Florida State, 40 percent against Miami (Fla.), 45 percent against Notre Dame and 48 percent against Pit. Making a high volume and high percentage of 3s bodes well for the Cardinals' upset hopes, but they'll need to improve their efficiency inside the arc if they want to win in Durham.
They made just 11-of-35 shots inside the arc against Pitt and only 40 percent against Notre Dame.
Duke's defense, which ranks in the top 15 nationally in block and steal percentage and No. 5 in terms of efficiency, is unlikely to provide many high-percentage looks.
It's a cliche to point to a high-profile regular season game and say that it feels like an Elite Eight/Final Four/[enter NCAA tournament round here] game, but these two teams have been ranked in the top 10 for most of the season and this projects to be one of the better matchups of the regular season.
Duke and Louisville are only scheduled to play once in the regular season, which means if they meet again, it'll be in the postseason.