(State at Louisville; Sunday; January 22nd; ABC)
Over the last three seasons of ACC Women's Basketball, one of State or Louisville has finished first in the ACC regular season standings with the other finishing second: Louisville (16-2) first, State (14-4) second in the 19-20 season; Louisville (14-2) first, State (12-2) second in the 20-21 season; and State (17-1) first, Louisville (16-2) second in the 21-22 season. Add to that State winning the ACC Tournament in the three seasons referenced above beating Louisville 58-56 in the 2021 finals of the tournament. Hence, why ABC is showcasing Sunday's game although neither team in 2023 has fared as well as they did during the three seasons referenced above with State being 4-4 in conference play and Louisville being 6-2 in conference play. State is 14-5 overall while Louisville is 15-6 overall.
State's record with regard to Louisville is 6-8; however, State has won the last three meetings winning at Louisville, in Greensboro and at home. Louisville won 6 straight between 2017 and 2020.
With regard to State, the team's Live RPI is 14; their NET is 13; their ELO is 24; their SOS is 7; their NET quad 1 record is 3-4; and their RPI quad 1 record is 4-4.
With regard Louisville, the team's Live RPI is 29; their NET is 32; their ELO is 19; their SOS is 24; their NET quad 1 record is 3-6; and their RPI quad 1 record is 2-6.
State's best win is that over NET 10 Iowa. Louisville's best wins are those over NET 12 Texas and NET 16 Florida State. State's Iowa win was at Iowa and Louisville's win over FSU was at FSU.
Louisville has three players which should concern State (not saying that all Louisville players should not concern State-not at all). First and foremost, State has to be concerned with five-seven junior Hailey Van Lith who is scoring 21 ppg while shooting 439 from the floor; 255 from the arc (the arc shooting percentage surprises me-thought it would be much higher). Hailey is second in scoring in the conference just behind Ta'Niya Latson. If Louisville needs a bucket, Hailey gets it.
The second player for Louisville that might concern State is six-two grad student Morgan Jones, the former FSU star. Jones's, averaging 10.7 ppg, play up until the FSU game really did not jump out, but against FSU and maybe because the game was at FSU, Jones had 25 points shooting 9-10 from the floor; 7-8 from the line.
The final player of the top three players of concern for State in Sunday's game is center six-three junior Olivia Cochran who is averaging 9.2 ppg. State has had a difficult time scoring and defending against talented centers and Cochran is talented. She has always played well against State.
Other players who started for Louisville in their 73-65 home win over B.C. were five-five graduate student Chrislyn Carr and six-five graduate student Liz Dixon. Five-seven Mykasa Robinson played 24 minutes off the bench.
Nolan likes Louisville over State in this game 71-68 with a 61%-win probability. Lobo of Her Hoop Stats likes State, with the game at Louisville, over Louisville 67.7 to 66.8 with a win probability of 53.2%.
From Lobo, State averages 75.1 ppg while Louisville averages 76.3 ppg. State gives up 61.2 ppg while Louisville gives up 64.7 ppg. State's field goal percentage is 45.2% while Louisville's is 47.2%. From the arc State shoots 342 while Louisville shoots 359. State's Eff Field Goal % is 50.2 while Louisville's is 51.7.
If Louisville was playing the State team going into Christmas break and especially the one after the Iowa game, I would easily pick State. It is hard to predict this one because it is unclear who will be available for State. State could suit up anywhere from 7-10 players. Of the three players who either did not play against Miami or got injured during the game (River), my guess is Jessica Timmons will be able to play but River Baldwin and Jada Boyd will not be able to play (Jada more likely to be ready to play than River). Winning with seven healthy players at home is one thing, but on the road against a really good team, it is another.
A point about Mimi Collins. She plays much better when she is a starter. Mimi played well as a starter against Miami (11 points-tied for leading scorer) and against Georgia (19-leading scorer) two pretty good teams. When she does not start, she seems to struggle.
Go Mimi, go Pack!