Top-ranked Louisville looks to stay unbeaten when it hosts No. 5 Michigan as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday. The Cardinals beat Western Kentucky 71-54 on Friday to ascend to the top of the national rankings for the first time since 2013, and hope to pass their toughest test of the season while avoiding the same fate of the three previous No. 1 ranked teams after Michigan State, Kentucky and Duke were all upset.
"We wouldn't be the first team to lose with the No. 1 ranking, but in the grand scheme of things, I'd be more concerned about losing that No. 1 ranking at the beginning of April," Louisville coach Chris Mack told reporters. "My job is for me to get our players to understand that we haven't arrived because there's no team that's arrived." The surging Wolverines have exceeded expectations under first-year coach Juwan Howard, racing to a 7-0 start, which includes a pair of quality wins against ranked opponents. Michigan knocked off Iowa State (83-76), No. 7 North Carolina (73-64) and ninth-ranked Gonzaga (82-64) en route to winning the Battle 4 Atlantis, and hope to stay red hot by taking down three straight Top 10 opponents for the first time since January of 2014. "A lot of teams are looking and seeing Michigan, and the name is out there now," Howard told reporters. "When you beat teams like Creighton, Iowa State as well as North Carolina and Gonzaga then you're no longer under the radar."
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ABOUT MICHIGAN (7-0): Isaiah Livers was named to the All-tournament team after averaging 16.7 points per game in the Bahamas, including a 21-point performance on 8-of-11 shooting from the floor in the championship. Jon Teske added 19 points and a career-high 15 rebounds against Gonzaga en route to earning the tournament's most valuable player honor while Zavier Simpson scored 13 points and dished out 13 assists to register his third double-double of the season. Franz Wagner, the brother of former Michigan star and current Washington Wizards forward Mo Wagner, tallied 10 points for his first double-digit scoring performance after missing the first four games of the season with a wrist injury.
ABOUT LOUISVILLE (7-0): Jordan Nwora poured in a game-high 25 points to go along with five rebounds in the win against Western Kentucky to give him at least 20 points in five contests this season. Dwayne Sutton added 15 points and seven boards against the Hilltoppers to finish in double figures for the fifth time in seven games. Malik Williams scored eight points and pulled down nine rebounds in his third game back after he was sidelined for two months with a broken foot, as the Cardinals improved to 50-6 in the month of November since the 2011-12 season.
1. Louisville has won 78 of its last 82 non-conference home games.
2. Michigan is ranked second nationally in field-goal percentage (52.9).
3. The four all-time meetings between the Cardinals and Wolverines have been decided by a combined 15 points.