When the schedule for this basketball season was released, one of the first things that most people looked for was probably when the Cards would play North Carolina and Duke. If so, they would see that at this time in January, they would face those teams on back to back Saturdays, which is pretty awesome. What they may have overlooked was that little game in between, which is tonight’s matchup against Virginia Tech. In what would usually be a classic trap game, I don’t think that will be the case tonight.
If Louisville held on and would have won in Chapel Hill, I think tonight would have had more of that “trap game” feel to it. A big win on the road against North Carolina and then you have Duke coming in this Saturday, it makes sense. But with the loss, the Cards should have taken only the time it took to get back to town on Saturday to be upset about it, and then get over it and move on. However, I still would rather this be a trap game and take that win in Chapel Hill, but we move on…
Virginia Tech enters the game with an 8-7 record and are 0-2 in the ACC. They have only faced one ranked team this year and that ended with an 82-51 loss in Morgantown to West Virginia. Their two conference losses are to Syracuse (68-66) at home and Florida State (86-75) on the road. Whoever made their schedule must not like the Hokies very much. After tonight’s road game against the top 10 Cardinals, they play at #15 North Carolina, host #12 Notre Dame, and host #2 Virginia. Yikes. They could be staring at an 0-6 start in the conference, and without playing in the last week, Buzz Williams should have his team ready tonight to try and steal a victory in the KFC Yum! Center.
That’s right, their coach is Buzz Williams, former head coach at Marquette. Let’s take a look at a couple of his finer moments. I can’t explain the picture.
I had to include those when mentioning Buzz, but I do actually like him. I have always like how passionate he is about his teams and the game. Hopefully he can turn Virginia Tech around and give the ACC another formidable team.
Now back to UofL. The first thing that jumps out that I will be looking for is with Wayne Blackshear. How does he respond after missing a couple of big shots late against UNC? Something like that could really mess with a player’s confidence. So will that bother him the rest of the season, or is he mentally strong enough to put it behind him and come out and forget about it? If he comes out and knocks down a few shots early, that will be a good sign for the Cards. If those misses stay in his head, it could carry over into this game and then into the Duke game. Regardless of what your opinion is of Blackshear, Louisville needs him to knock shots down if they want to be a contender this season. Someone other than Terry Rozier and Chris Jones have to be able to bury a shot when needed.
Louisville leads the all-time series against Virginia Tech 28-8. They are 14-3 in Louisville, but the last meeting was back on January 26, 1995 in Freedom Hall. The Cards won 78-74.
The game tips around 7:05 pm ET. It can be seen on Fox Sports South in Louisville and heard on WKRD 790 AM.
Go Cards! Go Krogering! Beat Virginia Tech!