5 Bold Predictions For No. 4 Louisville vs. No. 8 NC State

By Jerry Landry

5 Bold Predictions For No. 4 Louisville vs. No. 8 NC State

NC State Wolfpack basketball stuns Villanova Wildcats NCAA Tournament upset
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

I’m not sure how either of these teams survived, but I’m glad the Louisville Cardinals and the NC State Wolfpack are here. Rick Pitino is arguably Division I’s coach of the year, and the Wolfpack have been consistently tough through the tourney’s first weekend. Here are five things I expect to happen in this gritty Friday night showdown.

5. Montrezl Harrell Will Dominate From Inside And Out

Montrezl Harrell Louisville Cardinals rebound UNI NCAA Tournament
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

5. Montrezl Harrell Will Dominate From Inside And Out

Montrezl Harrell Louisville Cardinals rebound UNI NCAA Tournament
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Louisville will continue to surprise as Montrezl Harrell remains an all-purpose threat. Look for Harrell to hit a trey or two and get some tough points in the paint.

4. There Will Be Very Few Second-Chance Opportunities

NC State Wolfpack Villanova upset loose balls hustle
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

4. There Will Be Very Few Second-Chance Opportunities

NC State Wolfpack Villanova upset loose balls hustle
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Louisville and NC State share the same tough ACC conference that has pushed five teams through to the Sweet 16. Both teams rebound well and have rebounded well to get here. Expect a lot of one-and-done trips down the floor for both the Cardinals and Wolfpack.

3. Louisville Will Swipe 10 Steals

Louisville Cardinals Quentin Snider NCAA Tournament Sweet 16
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

3. Louisville Will Swipe 10 Steals

Louisville Cardinals Quentin Snider NCAA Tournament Sweet 16
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals’ defense is scrappy, and Rick Pitino will have Louisville at its scrappiest when pressing NC State for 94 feet and 40 minutes. The Wolfpack are conditioned for adversity, but they will still turn over the ball a double-figure amount.

2. Terry Rozier Will Hit 50% Of Three-Pointers

Louisville Cardinals Terry Rozier NCAA Tournament win UNI
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

2. Terry Rozier Will Hit 50% Of Three-Pointers

Louisville Cardinals Terry Rozier NCAA Tournament win UNI
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Look for Rozier to be assertive with much more on the line. From now until Friday, the Louisville guard should be focusing on creating a shot off the dribble and should implement this refined skill in the Sweet 16.

1. Louisville Wins An Ugly Game

Rick Pitino Louisville Cardinals advance Sweet 16
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

1. Louisville Wins An Ugly Game

Rick Pitino Louisville Cardinals advance Sweet 16
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After all the held balls, free throw attempts and bloody noses have ceased, look for the Cardinals to end up on top. NC State will play with tenacity, but it won’t be enough to topple Rick Pitino and the Cardinals.

Comment below with your bold predictions for this game!

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