CRAWFORD | Last-minute thoughts on Louisville-North Carolina - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD | Last-minute thoughts on Louisville-North Carolina

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GREENSBORO, N.C. (WDRB) — The University of Louisville will play the first ACC Tournament game in its history at about 2:30 today. A few things to know before tipoff.

TV: ESPN (Sean McDonough, Shane Battier, Allison Williams).

RADIO: WHAS-850 (Paul Rogers, Doug Ormay), ESPN 680 AM, 93.5 FM.

LINE: North Carolina by 2 1/2.

COACHES: Rick Pitino is 719-252 in his 30th season as a head coach. Roy Williams is 746-200 in his 27th season.

NORTH CAROLINA IS TOUGH IN GREENSBORO. The Tar Heels are 113-29 in Greensboro Coliseum. They are 37-17 in ACC Tournament games played here. Eight of UNC's 17 ACC Tournament titles were won in Greensboro. Only Duke (19) has won more ACC Tournament titles. As a No. 5 seed, UNC is 2-4, including Wednesday night's win over 

RELATED: Crawford looks at past conference tournaments for the Cardinals

PITINO AND CONFERENCE TOURNAMENTS. U of L has won 10 straight conference tournament games and three straight conference tournaments (Big East, Big East, American Athletic) under Pitino, and has won 15 of its last 17 conference tournament games. Pitino, for his career, is 48-13 in conference tournaments, winning 12 titles, including six with U of L.

UNC'S MEEKS AILING. North Carolina big man Kennedy Meeks sat out the first game of the ACC Tournament with an illness, but sources close to the program say he may play on Thursday. He's not expected to play an extensive role, but could see a few minutes to begin working back into the lineup. The 6-9, 270-pound forward averages 12 points and 7.6 rebounds per game.

HOMECOMING FOR TWO CARDS. With the postseason here, Montrezl Harrell has to have big games for the Cardinals. He'll need to make good decisions against double-teams and be extremely active on the offensive glass today playing in his home state. Another player in his home state you might not have thought much about could be a key for the Cards -- Anton Gill, a native of Raleigh, N.C., had a big shooting game against Florida State and could provide some much-needed scoring in a game that figures to be up and down.

KEYS FOR LOUISVILLE. The Cardinals led by 15 in Chapel Hill before losing, and trailed by 18 in the KFC Yum! Center before coming back to win in overtime. The key to the second win was closing down the offensive boards for North Carolina, which ranks No. 5 in the nation in offensive rebounding percentage. The Tar Heels grabbed only two offensive rebounds in the second half and overtime. The Cards also are going to have to find some kind of defensive answer. Chris Jones, who played in both of their first two games against UNC, was a solid on-ball defender who could help limit the Tar Heels' dribble penetration. Expect UNC to try to exploit freshman Quentin Snider on defense. Pitino simplified his team's 2-3 zone defense before their season finale with Virginia, and liked the results. But UNC is one of the better offensive teams in the league, and guard Marcus Paige is starting to play well.

PREDICTION: I think Louisville will have defensive problems today, and the challenge of playing a road game won't help. North Carolina 76, Louisville 72.

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