The No. 1 ranked Louisville Cardinals (16-1, 4-0 Big East) are matching up against the No. 6 ranked Syracuse Orange (16-1, 4-0 Big East) in a contest that will determine who has the inside track to a potential No. 1 seed in both the NCAA and Big East tournaments.
Both teams have a lot at stake and have only dropped a single game throughout the 2012-13 campaign, so you can expect the players to fight tooth and nail in order to stave off another loss.
Keep reading to find out where to watch the game, catch an updated injury report, read our predictions on the final score and more.
Where: KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, Ky.
When: Saturday, Jan, 19 at 4 p.m. ET
Listen: WKRD Radio (790 AM) in Louisville, WTKW Radio (99.5 FM) in Syracuse
Injury Report (via USA TODAY)
C Mangok Mathiang, OUT, Eligibility
G Mike Marra, OUT, Knee
F James Southerland, OUT, Eligiblity
Probable Starting Lineups (h/t Jon Hancock of B/R)
C Gorgui Dieng.
F Montrezl Harrell
F Wayne Blackshear
G Russ Smith
G Peyton Siva
C DaJuan Coleman
F Rakeem Christmas
F C.J. Fair
G Michael Carter-Williams
G Brandon Triche
Syracuse Player to Watch: Michael Carter-Williams
Carter-Williams is the top playmaker in the nation (9.4 assists per game) and will be instrumental in putting his teammates in position to win on Saturday.
There are likely going to be plenty of scouts and NBA GMs tuning into this nationally televised game, as the 6’6” guard has quickly become one of the top potential prospects in the upcoming draft class.
If the Orangeman wants to boost his stock through the roof and get a massive win over rival Louisville, he needs to live up to the hype and continue his stellar production.
Louisville Player to Watch: Peyton Siva
The senior guard has been a regular contributor to a stellar Cardinals program over the past three seasons, but he’s having his best campaign by far in 2012-13.
Going into this game, Siva is averaging 11.8 points, 5.6 assists, 2.4 steals and 2.3 rebounds while shooting 46.5 percent from the field and 39 percent from deep.
He’s succeeding despite his small, 6' frame, and he will have a tough matchup against the 6’4” Brandon Triche on Saturday.
Prediction: Louisville 75, Syracuse 73
This is going to be a hard-fought battle between two of the nation’s top teams, and we predict the outcome will not be decided until the final possession.
We’re giving the Cardinals the edge, as they have a bit more experience and size on the interior, two crucial traits that will insure victory and control of the Big East.
However, anything could happen when these teams meet, so make sure you tune in to catch the action.