KFC Yum! Center Louisville

Duke Blue Devils vs. Louisville Cardinals Pick & Prediction JAN 29TH 2022

NCAAB | BASKETBALL
TV:
Logo Duke Blue Devils
VS
Logo Louisville Cardinals
0
OPENNER
141.5

-6.5 -110
CURRENT
140.5o -110

-300
MONEYLINE
+250

74
SCORE
65

It's often hard to overshadow whatever storyline might be associated with Duke, particularly as Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski approaches the final weeks of his last regular season in charge.

But Louisville has managed to do that.

There's a coaching change with the Cardinals, making it a major part of the storyline when No. 9 Duke visits Louisville on Saturday afternoon.

Assistant coach Mike Pegues will be directing the Cardinals after Chris Mack's departure on Wednesday, two days after a 64-52 loss at Virginia. Pegues was elevated to interim head coach for the remainder of the season.

Duke (16-3, 6-2 ACC) is among a cluster of teams atop the league standings with Miami (7-2) and Notre Dame (6-2).

Louisville (11-9, 5-5) has lost five of its last six games. After Saturday's game against the Blue Devils, the Cardinals stay home for Tuesday night's matchup with North Carolina before the first road game since under Pegues on Feb. 5 at Syracuse.

Louisville's record under Mack was 68-37 in 3 1/2 seasons.

"Coach Pegues is ready to lead this program through the home stretch of the season, and I encourage everyone to pack the KFC Yum! Center to show our players how much the Louisville community cares about Cardinal Basketball," Mack said in a statement.

Pegues, who is Delaware's all-time second-leading scorer, came with Mack from Xavier. He filled in for the first six games of this season when Mack served a school-related suspension. The Cardinals were 5-1 to begin the season.

"I have complete confidence in Mike Pegues, who did a tremendous job leading the team in November and I am comforted that he has agreed to lead us the rest of the season," Louisville interim athletics director Josh Heird said. "We have set a high bar for expectations for our basketball program, on and off of the court, and we will continue to strive to meet those goals."

Duke will have a coaching change at season's end, with Jon Scheyer taking over for the retiring Krzyzewski.

In the meantime, the Blue Devils will arrive at Louisville holding a two-game winning streak after Tuesday night's 71-69 squeaker against visiting Clemson. The Blue Devils have won four of their last five.

Roles are evolving for the Blue Devils, particularly as they cope with the absence of injured guard Trevor Keels. He has missed the past two-plus games, with Jeremy Roach moving back into the starting lineup.

"With Trevor out, it just makes more responsibility for me," Roach said. "I'm doing whatever it takes to win, next man up, and I think I've been pretty solid."

Others have come to the forefront at times while freshman Paolo Banchero has been among the most productive players in the ACC. Banchero leads the team with 17.9 points per game.

Post player Mark Williams is a combined 24 of 30 from the field in the last four games.

"He's moving his feet," Krzyzewski said. "We're moving forward here, and I see him improving."

Also, reserve Joey Baker has provided a boost with perimeter shooting. His leadership has been emerging as well.

"I talked to him privately about it -- that he's a big-time Duke veteran in these last couple of games," Krzyzewski said.

Duke's 10-of-20 shooting on 3-pointers in the Clemson contest marked the third game this season in which the Blue Devils have been at or above 50 percent from beyond the arc. Louisville is shooting 32 percent on 3-pointers for the third-worst rate in the ACC.

--Field Level Media

PREDICTION
Duke Blue Devils
74
68
Louisville Cardinals

Duke Blue Devils vs. Louisville Cardinals Recap JAN 29TH 2022

AJ Griffin made two 3-point baskets during a 12-0 run after Louisville tied the game, helping No. 9 Duke pull out a 74-65 road victory in Atlantic Coast Conference play on Saturday afternoon.

Griffin finished with 22 points as the Blue Devils (17-3, 7-2 ACC) won their third game in a row. This was another tough one as Louisville came storming back from an early deficit.

Louisville (11-10, 5-6) was playing its first game since the departure of coach Chris Mack, with that change occurring Wednesday in what has been described as a mutually agreed upon separation. Mike Pegues was in the place as interim head coach, a role he's expected to hold for the rest of the season. Pegues had filled in at the beginning of the season while Mack was serving a suspension.

Mark Williams added 14 points and 11 rebounds, Paolo Banchero had 11 points and 15 rebounds and Wendell Moore Jr. posted 10 points for Duke.

El Ellis pumped in 18 points off the bench to go with Dre Davis' 16 points and Malik Williams' 10 points for Louisville, which lost for the sixth time in its last seven games.

Entering the game, Duke allowed opponents to shoot only 26.4 percent on 3-pointers this month and that defense was clutch again even though the Cardinals made eight of 22 shots from long range.

The Blue Devils, who were beginning a stretch of three straight road games, struggled at the free-throw line by going 8-for-18.

Duke opened the game by going up 22-7. But it was 37-35 by late in the first half after the Cardinals strung together a 14-5 spurt in a three-minute span. The Blue Devils led 40-35 at the break.

Louisville, which made its last six shots of the first half and its first four shots of the second half, caught up at 45 early in the second half and pulled even again at 60.

The decisive run in which Griffin made two 3-pointers followed and the Blue Devils closed out the win.

Duke played its third straight full game without injured guard Trevor Keels, a starter who's close to returning to action following a leg injury during a loss at Florida State.

One of Duke's most impressive comebacks ever came in 2019 at Louisville, with the Blue Devils wiping out a 23-point hole with less than 10 minutes to play for a 71-69 win.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski's record against Louisville improved to 8-9.

--Field Level Media

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