My son and I were at a Louisville Football game two years ago. It was during the Petrino debacle and NC State beat our brains out that day. Towards the end of the game, the NC State mascot came over by our section. My son who was 6 at the time ask me if he could get a photo with it. I said “Sure!” He ended up getting that Wolf good. I ask him after the picture “what was that?” He said, “I wanted to do Wolf Pack down Dad”. We’ve had an agreed dislike for NC State since. It’s always Wolfpack down at our house.
We will be watching on Saturday afternoon as the Cardinals take their seven-game win streak and best-ever conference start into Raleigh. The Wolfpack will be a hungry team after losing two in a row including a tough one to their arch-rival UNC. They are going to see this game as pivotal to their NCAA resume. And it probably will be.
I have seen that some of the talking heads are predicting the upset here. I guess they haven’t seen what we have over the last few weeks. This Louisville team has stepped up and has rolled through their conference schedule at this point. Guess it just comes down to proving it again. I think folks are waiting for this Louisville team to show their flaw.
I think they are beginning to become one of those teams that can win despite some of those flaws. I don’t think there is a team in the country that doesn’t have a chink in the armor. It will be the team that has the ability to grind through tough ones and overcome that who will be raising the trophy in April.
Coach Mack has talked about how his team is starting to fill into roles and how they’ve been playing together. One of the most impressive things about this current win streak is how it has featured different guys each week.
The emergence of David Johnson, the resurgence of Malik Williams, Sam Williamson coming into his own and Darius Perry’s recent contribution. And got the best player in the country Jordan Nwora who just had a career outing with 37 points, 9 rebounds, while adding 1 assist. Who will be the guy on Saturday?
The Cardinals converted on 12 3-pointers in their last game against BC. They are currently ranked 12th in the country in 3-point percentage, while NC State ranks 130th in defending the three. I think the long ball will play a role in this one as it always does especially on the road.
This NC State team got beat up pretty good on the boards against UNC 42-31. This is another area where Louisville can pounce. Our guys have rolled up their sleeves and have been owning the glass. Currently ranked 19th in defensive rebounding and 45th in total rebounds. Have to look way down the list for the Wolfpack ranked 176th in defensive rebounding and 162nd in total rebounds.
There is a reason why this Louisville team is winning. They are winning the hustle stats. I can’t remember a team that got after it on the glass-like this bunch does. Prolly would have to go back to that 2013 group. If they keep doing the dirty work they will win Saturday. And got a shot to win it all.
This Louisville team is on one of the best runs in college hoops and that just puts a bigger target on them. Just like at BC in the last one I expect NC State to come out and play out of their mind. With a rowdy home crowd in tow. Same recipe as the last one for the Cards. Just go prove it. Wolfpack Down! Go Cards!
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