Layup Lines: Louisville vs Virginia

Louisville basketball.jpg
Photo: usatoday.com

Buckle up…here we go! Louisville (17-3, 6-1) is about to enter a crazy stretch of basketball games against ranked teams, with a little Boston College thrown in there for good balance. It starts today as the Virginia Cavaliers (16-4, 5-3) are in town and trying to stay in the ACC race. Usually when there are games on Saturday and Monday, they are paired together in the minds of fans. Well, this pair is Virginia and North Carolina, a huge two-game set for the Cards.

Monday could be one of the best atmospheres that the KFC Yum! Center has seen, but let’s not jump ahead of today yet. This could be an awesome game. Enjoy it. Here are some quick notes on the game. Has to be quick so I can go do some CSZ radio on 93.9 The Ville from 10-11, which you should check out!

Game Facts

Spread: Louisville opens as 6 point favorites.

Date: Jan. 30, 2016

Time: 1:06 p.m.

Site: KFC Yum! Center/Crum Court, Louisville, Ky. (22,000) (94-13 in 6th yr.)

Television: CBS (WLKY-TV in Louisville) Kevin Harlan, play-by-play; Bill Raftery, analyst.

Radio: WHAS (840 AM) Paul Rogers, play-by-play; Doug Ormay, analyst (Sirius channel 134, XM 194)
Also: ESPN Radio — Adam Amin, play-by-play; Bob Valvano, analyst.

Series History: UofL trails 4-6 (3-3 in Louisville, 1-3 in Charlottesville)

Last Meeting: UofL 59, Virginia 57 (March 7, 2015 at KFC Yum! Center)

UofL National Ranking: 14th USA Today, 16th Associated Press

Officials: Les Jones, Brian O’Connell, Tim Clougherty

Next UofL Game: Feb. 1 vs. North Carolina, KFC Yum! Center, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN Big Monday)

Last 5 Games

-Louisville enters the game on a four game winning streak and winners of six of their last seven. The offense has really been clicking in the last three games, and hopefully that keeps up today.

Sun, Jan 10
  • @ Clemson
  • 66-62
13-3 (2-1)
Thu, Jan 14
  • vs #20 Pittsburgh
  • 59-41
14-3 (3-1)
Wed, Jan 20
  • vs Florida State
  • 84-65
15-3 (4-1)
Sat, Jan 23
  • @ Georgia Tech
  • 75-71
16-3 (5-1)
Wed, Jan 27
  • @ Virginia Tech
  • 91-83
17-3 (6-1)

-Virginia comes into the game winning four of their last five games, with the one loss being on the road to Florida State.

Tue, Jan 12
  • vs #8 Miami (FL)
  • 66-58
13-3 (2-2)
Sun, Jan 17
  • @ Florida State
  • 69-62
13-4 (2-3)
Tue, Jan 19
  • vs Clemson
  • 69-62
14-4 (3-3)
Sun, Jan 24
  • vs Syracuse
  • 73-65
15-4 (4-3)
Tue, Jan 26
  • @ Wake Forest
  • 72-71
16-4 (5-3)

Crazy Comeback Win

Virginia is coming off of a pretty incredible comeback win at Wake Forest. With 1:23 left to play, they trailed 64-54. And they trailed 70-63 with 22 seconds left to play. They won the game. Just think about that. A fury of three pointers and a buzzer beater capped the comeback win. If that doesn’t give a team momentum heading into their next game, I don’t know what does.

3 Players to Watch for Virginia

Malcom Brogdon comes in averaging 17.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game. The 6’5 senior hit the big three for Virginia last season right before Mangok delivered the dagger for the Louisville win. In Virginia’s three ACC losses this season, Brogdon shot 4-11, 8-20, and 4-17. It’s no coincidence that when Brogdon does not shoot the ball well, the Cavaliers struggle. As is the case for most teams with their best player.

Anthony Gill has scored in double figures in every game this season. He averages 15 points and 6 rebounds per game. The 6’8 senior is coming off of a 17 point performance at Wake Forest. He leads the team in field goal % at 60.1% on the season.

London Perrantes is a 6’2 junior that averages 11.7 points, 4.4 assists, and 3.2 rebounds per game, so he does a little bit of everything. He has games this season where he has scored 22, 19, 19 16, and 16 points. He also has games where he has scored 6, 5, 6, 3, and 6 points. So which Perrantes will show up today? That could be a big key in this game.

Final Prediction

I think Louisville does enough on Malcom Brogdon to slow him down and have one of those bad shooting games where the Cavaliers also struggle when he does. Coming off of a great shooting performance, the Cards feed off of the jacked up “white out” crowd at the KFC Yum! Center. Anas has another solid game with Onuaku and Jaylen ailing. Cards win 70-62.

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