Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Louisville Cardinals Pick & Prediction JANUARY 20th 2024

Louisville will be searching for solutions Saturday when it visits Wake Forest for an Atlantic Coast Conference game in Winston-Salem, N.C.

The Cardinals (6-11, 1-5 ACC) have been a long way from their glory days in recent years, last reaching the NCAA Tournament in 2019.

Cardinals coach Kenny Payne, who was a freshman guard on the 1986 Louisville team that beat Duke for the second of the school’s three national titles, is facing calls for his job.

Payne has a 10-39 record since taking charge at his alma mater before the 2022-23 season. Louisville lost 86-70 on Wednesday at No. 4 North Carolina for the Cardinals’ eighth defeat in 10 games.

“I thought we played hard, I thought we fought, but there are no good efforts and moral victories with this program,” Payne said. “I want to win games.”

Three sophomores — Skyy Clark (14.3 points per game), Michael James (13.9) and Tre White (12.2) — and junior forward Brandon Huntley-Hatfield (10.5 points, 8.5 rebounds per game) are Payne’s leading performers.

Wake Forest (12-5, 4-2) will be a tough opponent at home. The Demon Deacons have won 10 of their last 12 games and are unbeaten in 10 games this season at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Wake Forest senior forward Andrew Carr scored 28 points on 10-of-13 shooting, including three 3-pointers, but the Demon Deacons blew an 11-point lead with 10 minutes left in an 83-76 road loss to North Carolina State on Tuesday.

“Over the past three years, that’s the worst half of basketball that we played since I’ve been a coach,” Wake Forest coach Steve Forbes said. “We completely lost our composure … I thought we played selfish.”

Guards Kevin Miller (17.8 points per game), Hunter Sallis (17.6), Cameron Hildreth (15.7) and Carr (14.1 points, 7.5 rebounds) lead the Demon Deacons’ attack.

Wake Forest comes in averaging 80.6 points per game while Louisville checks in with 73.6.

Louisville leads the series between the schools 9-4.

–Field Level Media

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