Teams: Syracuse Orange (14-7) vs. No. 5 Louisville Cardinals (22-2)
Day & Time: Saturday, March 6 at noon EST
Location: ACC Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, North Carolina
TV/Streaming: ACC Network
Opponent Blog: Card Chronicle
Current Streak: Syracuse: W2 | Louisville: W2
All-Time Series: Louisville leads 14-7
Syracuse in the ACC Tournament: 9-7
Louisville in the ACC Tournament: 11-5
Teams Last Meeting: The Orange lost to then-ranked No. 1 Louisville in the KFC YUM! Center on Jan. 21, 54-67. Emily Engstler tallied 16 points and 11 rebounds off the bench in the loss.
- Tiana Mangakahia has not played in the last two games due to a lower-body injury suffered versus NC State last Sunday. Coach Quentin Hillsman said she will not play versus Louisville.
- Syracuse will also likely be without Priscilla Williams, who left Friday’s game on a stretcher with an upper-body injury. She had movement in all of her limbs and was awake & responsive.
- In addition to Mangakahia & Williams, four Syracuse players are unavailable and did not travel to Greensboro due to a violation of team rules: Taleah Washington, Kiara Fisher, Khamya McNeal, and Faith Blackstone.
- Four Orange players were honored with Atlantic Coast Conference season awards on Tuesday morning. Kamilla Cardoso racked up multiple accolades, including Freshman of the Year, Co-Defensive Player of the Year, All-Defensive Team, All-Freshman Team, First Team All-ACC by the Blue Ribbon Panel, and Second Team All-ACC by the conference’s head coaches. Emily Engstler earned Co-Sixth Player of the Year, while Tiana Mangakahia and Kiara Lewis were named to the All-ACC Team Honorable Mention. Cardoso, Engstler, and Lewis were also named to the All-ACC Academic Team on Wednesday.
- Fan voting is now live for Mangakahia as the Nancy Lieberman Top Point Guard Award.
- ‘Cuse is projected as an eighth seed in the NCAA Tournament from ESPN’s Bracketology by Charlie Creme.
- Lewis leads the Orange in scoring with 14.7 points per contest. Three-time ACC Freshman of the Week Cardoso is averaging 13.9 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. Mangakahia is contributing 11.6 points and 7.5 assists per contest, while Engstler is adding 9.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per game.
- The Orange rank in the top-5 of the ACC in blocked shots (1st), blocked shots per game (1st), steals per game (2nd), 3-PT field goals per game (3rd), assists (4th), assists per game (4th), free throw attempts (4th), steals (4th), 3-PT field goals made (4th), turnovers forced (4th), field goal % defense (5th), free throws made (5th), rebounds (5th), scoring offense (5th), 3-PT field goals attempted (5th), and won-lost % (5th). The team ranks top-25 nationally in blocked shots per game (2nd) and total blocks (7th).
- In the conference, Mangakahia ranks in total assists (1st) and assists per game (1st), Cardoso ranks in total blocks (1st), blocked shots per game (1st), field goal % (2nd), and rebounds (5th). Lewis ranks in free throw attempts (2nd) and minutes played per game (3rd), and Engstler ranks in rebounds per game (4th), blocked shots per game (5th), total rebounds (5th), and steals per game (5th). Nationally, Mangakahia ranks in assists per game (1st) and total assists (5th), while Cardoso ranks in field goal % (7th), blocked shots per game (14th), and total blocks (15th).
- The NCAA announced that the 2021 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship will be held in San Antonio, Texas. The tournament will have a 64-team bracket and the .500 rule will be waived. A limited number of fans will be allowed with a capacity of up to 17% from the Sweet Sixteen through the Final Four. The committee will announce the bracket at 7 p.m. EST on Selection Monday, March 15 on ESPN.
: Highlights from the 68-67 quarterfinal win over #4 seed Florida State pic.twitter.com/62pzYWuIyl— 'Cuse Hoops (@CuseWBB) March 5, 2021
Syracuse’s Last Game: The Orange stunned the Florida State Seminoles in the quarterfinal round of the ACC Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum, 68-67. With five seconds left on the clock and down one point, freshman Kamilla Cardoso grabbed the offensive rebound off a missed Kiara Lewis three and made the layup to win the game.
Emily Engstler also made an incredible, half court buzzer-beating shot to bring the Orange within one score at the end of the third quarter. ‘Cuse trailed the entire game until Cardoso’s winning bucket.
Cardoso led the team with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Lewis (12 pts), Digna Strautmane (11), Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi (11), and Engstler (10) also contributed double-figure scoring for Syracuse in the win.
Head Coaches: Syracuse - Quentin Hillsman (15th year, 318-166) | Louisville - Jeff Walz (14th year, 381-106)
Opponent Coach Bio: In 13 seasons, Walz has led the Cardinals to nine NCAA Sweet 16s, five Elite Eights, three Final Fours, and two National Title games. In addition to this, Walz has coached four All-Americans, 33 all-conference selections, and 11 WNBA Draft picks. Prior to his time at Louisville, Walz spent five seasons at Maryland. He also coached at Minnesota, Nebraska, and Western Kentucky. Walz played basketball at Northern Kentucky.
Opponent Last Year: Last season, Louisville went 28-7 with a 16-2 ACC record. The then-ranked No. 4 Cardinals fell in the Atlantic Coast Conference semifinals to Florida State, 60-62.
Opponent’s Last Game: Louisville defeated Wake Forest 65-53 in the ACC Quarterfinals. Freshman Hailey Van Lith led the team with a season-high 24 points.
Opponent Player’s to Watch: Senior Dana Evans is averaging 20.5 points and 4.5 assists per game. Evans was named the ACC Player of the Year for the second straight season.
If Syracuse Wins: Advance to the Championship game and get back in the national conversation.
If Syracuse Loses: With a shortened bench and national-contender opponent, a loss for the Orange would not be something to look down upon.
Next Game: The winner of Saturday’s game will advance to the Championship and play the winner of No. 2 NC State/No. 7 Virginia Tech & No. 3 Georgia Tech/No. 11 Clemson (quarterfinal games are Friday night). The Championship game is scheduled for Sunday at 12 p.m. EST on ESPN2.