LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (16-3)
at GEORGETOWN HOYAS (13-4)
Tip-off: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET
Line: Louisville -5, Total: 121
No. 5 Louisville looks to stop a two-game losing skid when it visits Georgetown on Saturday afternoon.
The Cardinals, were ranked No. 1 in the nation when they lost to then-No. 6 Syracuse last Saturday by a 70-68 score. But Tuesday's loss at unranked Villanova was much more troubling, as the Wildcats ended the game on a 27-14 run, aided by Louisville's 7-of-18 shooting (39%) from the foul line during that stretch. Georgetown is riding high after a 63-47 rout at Notre Dame on Monday. The Hoyas outshot the Irish 47% FG to 35% FG and outrebounded them 35-24. Georgetown is 7-2 SU (4-4-1 ATS) against Louisville since 2000, winning each of the past three meetings SU.
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Louisville scores 75.7 PPG (36th in nation) and ranks 59th in the country in both rebounds (38.0 PPG) and assists (15.0 APG). SG Russ Smith is the team's top scorer at 18.7 PPG, but he makes just 41% of his shots and 32% of his threes. He shot a woeful 2-of-13 at Villanova on Tuesday, while committing four turnovers. PG Peyton Siva has also shot horribly during the two-game skid (6-for-22 FG), but he has 19 assists during this stretch. Siva had an outstanding game against Georgetown last season with 15 points, six assists and five steals. PF Chane Behanan has been a force on the glass in the past four games (9.3 RPG) and also has eight steals over his past three contests. C Gorgui Dieng has upped his season rebounding average to 10.1 RPG, thanks to his 11.6 RPG in the eight games this month. Both Behanan and Dieng grabbed eight boards apiece in last season's home loss to the Hoyas.
Georgetown is not a prolific offense (64.0 PPG, 255th in D-I), but it shares the ball well (15.0 PPG, 59th in nation) and takes good shots (46.2% FG, 46th in D-I) in its patience Princeton-style offense. With second-leading scorer F Greg Whittington (12.1 PPG, 7.0 RPG) suspended for the past four games, leading scorer Otto Porter (14.6 PPG, 7.7 RPG) has stepped up his offense, netting at least 19 points in all four contests. Porter has also notched 9.3 RPG during this four-game stretch, and tallied an impressive 14 points and 14 rebounds in the win at Louisville last season. Junior SG Markel Starks (11.2 PPG) has shot the ball pretty well this season at 46% FG and 41% threes, but he's made just 4-of-17 FG in his past two contests, scoring a total of 12 points. However, Starks poured in a game-high 20 points on 7-of-8 FG (4-of-4 threes) in last year's victory over the Cardinals. The Hoyas got great production from their bench in Monday's win at Notre Dame, as SG D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera dropped in 14 points on 6-of-12 FG, and C Moses Ayegba grabbed 10 rebounds. The Nigerian-born junior will likely play a big role trying to contain Dieng on Saturday.