University of Louisville women’s basketball opens the 2021 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament against Wake Forest (12-11, 8-10) on Friday afternoon at 12 p.m. ET. The game will broadcast on RSN and 790-AM WKRD.

With the 78-61 win at Notre Dame on Sunday, No. 5 Louisville (21-2, 14-2) clinched its fourth straight ACC regular season title and its second straight outright title. It also marks the ninth conference title in program history. Prior to this stretch, Louisville had never won consecutive regular season conference titles.

Louisville is the 1-seed in the ACC Tournament for the second consecutive season and for the third time in four years. The Cardinals won the 2018 ACC Tournament title as the 1-seed in 2018. They are 10-5 all-time in the ACC Tournament and 6-0 in the ACC Quarterfinals.

UofL boasts a 21-12 record (.636) in conference tournament games under head coach Jeff Walz. In addition to the 2018 ACC Tournament title, they have reached five championship games (2008, 2009, 2014, 2018, 2019).

On Tuesday, senior Dana Evans was named ACC Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. Evans joins Asia Durr as the only players in program history to earn conference player of the year multiple times. She is the ninth player in ACC history to win the award in back-to-back years.

It marks the fourth straight year that the conference’s top honor has come from the Cardinals program, as Louisville joins Duke as the only two programs with the ACC Player of the Year in four consecutive years.

On Wednesday, Evans was named Kay Yow Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She joins Durr as the only Cardinals to win this prestigious award.

In addition to Evans being named the ACC Player of the Year, Mykasa Robinson was named to the All-ACC Defensive Team and Olivia Cochran and Hailey Van Lith were named to the All-ACC Freshman Team. Liz Dixon, Evans, Robinson, Kianna Smith and Van Lith were named to the All-ACC Academic Team.

ABOUT THE DEMON DEACONS

Wake Forest (12-11, 8-10) entered the ACC Tournament on a three-game losing streak, but ended that skid with an 82-71 win over North Carolina on Thursday. It marked the Demon Deacons’ third ACC Tournament win in the last two seasons as they also reached the ACC Quarterfinals last season. Freshman Jewel Spear led Wake Forest with 29 points on 10-15 shooting, 7-10 from deep, in the win over UNC, while seniors Gina Conti (13 points, 12 assists) and Ivana Raca (21 points, 12 rebounds) both had double-doubles. On Tuesday, Raca was named to the All-ACC First Team, Conti earned a spot on the All-ACC Second Team and Spear was named to the All-ACC Freshman Team. 

Series History – Louisville is 7-0 all-time versus Wake Forest. In those seven matchups, the Cardinals are 3-0 at home and 4-0 on the road winning by a margin of 18.3 points per contest. This will mark the teams’ first matchup in the ACC Tournament. The first meeting between the two programs came in the 2014-15 season when Louisville defeated host Wake Forest 79-68 on Jan. 11, 2015. Prior to Louisville’s 65-63 win at Wake Forest in January, the smallest margin of victory was that 11-point win in the first ever matchup.

The Last Meeting (Jan. 24, 2021) –  Dana Evans hit a driving shot for the go-ahead three-point play with 8.0 seconds left to help top-ranked Louisville avoid a huge upset by holding off Wake Forest 65-63. Evans’ driving shot against Gina Conti and free throw finally gave the Cardinals their winning margin. But Louisville had to survive a final shot from the Demon Deacons, with Ivana Raca missing a 3-pointer from the right at the horn that would’ve given Wake Forest its first-ever win against a No. 1-ranked opponent. Evans scored 25 points for Louisville, who trailed by nine midway through the fourth quarter before going on a 14-2 run to push back in front and set up a tense finish. Conti scored 13 points while Raca had 12 to lead the Demon Deacons, who erased an early nine-point deficit by getting on the boards. But, they fell a couple of plays short of earning their first win against a top-ranked opponent in 11 tries.

GAME FACTS

Date: Friday, March 5

Time: 12 p.m. ET

Site: Greensboro, N.C. | Greensboro, N.C.

TV: RSN (Jenn Hildreth, play-by-play; LaChina Robinson, analyst)

Radio: 790-AM WKRD (Nick Curran, play-by-play; Adrienne Johnson, analyst)

Last Meeting: W, 65-63 (Jan. 24, 2021 at Wake Forest)

Series History: 7-0 (W7, 3-0 Home, 4-0 Away, 0-0 Neutral)

UofL National Ranking: 5th Associated Press, 5th USA Today

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@UofLSheriff50. Louisville native, University of Louisville Business School Grad c/o 2004. Co-Founder of TheCrunchZone.com

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