By Derek DeBurger

In the final week of the regular season, No. 22 Louisville must be nearly flawless to put themselves in a strong position for a postseason run.

There’s a four-team tie for third place in the ACC standings, including the Cards and their final two opponents—the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Florida State Seminoles.

As both teams have had ups and downs on the season, Thursday is a must-win game. While both have very talented squads, FSU’s Ta’Niya Latson is arguably the best on the court. Latson is the 12th-best scorer in the country at 21.7 points per game, and she leads her team in assists per game with 4.3. She is the leader of an offense that puts up a staggering 81 points a game.

FSU has three other scorers who average double-digits—Makayla Timpson, O’Mariah Gordon, and Sara Bejedi. Gordon and Bejedi are lethal three-point shooters commanding a lot of attention around the arc. This limits the amount of attention the Cards can throw at Latson, who is much more of a slashing guard than an outside threat.

FSU has a strong interior presence defensively, averaging 4.6 blocks per game, and a solid perimeter defense as well. This should prove more beneficial to the way this Cards team plays. Louisville has had some experience against the best shot-blocking teams in the country, and most of those matchups have been favorable.

Another advantage that FSU has is that they are one of the best rebounding teams in the country. This is nothing new for the Cards as they have played many of the top rebounding teams in the country, and have come out on top more often than not.

Louisville should have a slight advantage being at the KFC Yum! Center, but there should be an extra buzz in the air since Thursday’s game will be senior night.

Let’s hope the year’s final home game ends on a high note, and the Cards can keep pace in the competitive ACC.