LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Jordan Nwora had 22 points and 12 rebounds, and top-ranked Louisville held No. 4 Michigan to a season-low 26% shooting mark for a 58-43 victory Tuesday night in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge in its first game since returning to No. 1.
The Cardinals (8-0) shot just 37% but their defense stifled Michigan (7-1) much of the night as they earned a signature victory one day after claiming the top spot in the AP Top 25 for the first time in six years. Though second-year coach Chris Mack has downplayed rankings, the win was significant for a program he has guided back into the national championship discussion following a sex scandal and the school’s involvement in a federal corruption investigation of college basketball.
The Cardinals also kept the Wolverines and first-year coach Juwan Howard from adding another top-10 upset to the ones that helped them enter the Top 25 and match Kansas (1989) for the biggest jump from being unranked in the 70-year history of the poll.
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - DECEMBER 03: Jordan Nwora #33 of the Louisville Cardinals celebrates during the 58-43 win against the Michigan Wolverines at KFC YUM! Center on December 03, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Steven Enoch had 10 points and 10 rebounds, and Dwayne Sutton had 11 boards as Louisville topped Michigan 48-41 in that category.
Jon Teske had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Wolverines, who had sought their first victory over a No. 1 team since beating Duke 81-73 at home on Dec. 13, 1997.
Louisville backed up its high ranking with the signature win it sought. Michigan could fall a few spots but can stay in the Top 10 by beating Iowa this week.
Michigan: After a strong shooting stretch that keyed wins over No. 6 North Carolina and No. 8 Gonzaga, the Wolverines fell back to Earth. They began 2 of 13 from the field and never really recovered.
Louisville: The Cardinals weren’t sharp by any means but passed their first big test against high-profile competition. Their defense limited chances inside and forced Michigan into perimeter shots that often missed.
Michigan opens Big Ten play at home against Iowa on Friday.
Louisville resumes Atlantic Coast Conference play against Pittsburgh at home on Friday.