On Saturday afternoon, the 24/23 ranked Louisville Cardinals (19-5, 7-4) will try to win their 6th game in a row as they take on the West Virginia Mountaineers (16-9, 6-6) in Morgantown, WV. Currently, the Cards sit in a 3 way tie for 5th place in the Big East along with South Florida and Cincinnati.
Louisville is coming off its best performance of the season, an 80-59 blowout against UConn (15-8, 5-6) on Monday. The second half was a highlight-reel for the Cards, and hopefully they can carry that momentum into this game. No matter the records, games between the Cards and Mountaineers always seem to be close. The last four meetings have been decided by 3 points or less. Last year, the Cards won 55-54 at home, and lost at West Virginia 72-70.
After starting off the Big East season 5-2, West Virginia has lost 4 of their last 5, with their only win being an overtime victory against Providence (13-12, 2-10). On the other hand, Louisville has won 5 in a row after starting out 2-4 in the Big East.
West Virginia’s Kevin Jones, a 6’8 senior, leads the Big East in scoring and in rebounds this season. He averages 20.6 points and 11.2 rebounds per game. He has scored in double figures in every game this season, and has an amazing 16 double-doubles so far. He also has three games with 8 rebounds and two games with 9 rebounds, so he is that close to having 21 double-doubles! He is currently 10th all-time on West Virginia’s scoring leaders list with 1,679 points. If he continues with this season’s average, he could end up in the top 5 in West Virginia scoring history.
On down that list, there is another current Mountaineer. Darryl “Truck” Bryant is currently 18th on the all-time scoring list for West Virginia with 1,454 points. The 6’2 senior is actually coming off of a game in which he shot 0-6 and did not score in 40 minutes. Even with that scoreless game, he is still averaging 16.9 points per game. He is not afraid to take the big shot, as he showed when he knocked down the game winning 3 pointer with time running out against Providence on the road.
If the Cards can continue to play like they have been on this winning streak, they can compete with and beat anyone in the country. If they get into foul trouble early or turn the ball over, they have proven that they can also be beaten by anyone in the country. These are two teams that have been going in opposite directions, so let’s hope that the trend continues.
The game will tip at noon, and can be seen on ESPN and heard on WHAS 840 AM radio.
Here are highlights from last year’s great game from VillenHD. Enjoy, and Go Cards!