Coming off a solid road win at Virginia Tech, Louisville returns home with a chance to lock their NCAA bid tonight against No. 1 Virginia at 8pm on the ACC Network.
Louisville’s struggles against Virginia are well-documented. Louisville’s last contest against the Cavaliers was actually the Cards first time scoring 60 points against UVA since joining the ACC. The Cards played very well in that game, and it still wasn’t close to enough that night. Virginia’s defense is intimidating, their offense is methodical and patient, and their ability to find the good shot and knock it down despite successful closeouts make them nearly impossible to beat in the regular season. For Louisville, at least.
Ty Jerome and Kyle Guy torched the Cards in the first matchup of these two teams. As I mentioned, their shooters are not typically bothered by a late hand in their face. If Louisville is to win tonight, they’ll have to run these guys off the three-point line.
This game is winnable. Louisville doesn’t have to play a near perfect game, but I do have 3 keys that they must excel at in order to win tonight.
- Defend the three-point line at all times. Make them beat you inside, the Cards need to limit Virginia to 6 threes or fewer.
- Crash the offensive glass. Virginia is not the best rebounding team. Louisville has an advantage on the glass if they can crash without fouling. 2nd chance points are frustrating to opponents and extra possessions are important in order to beat Virginia.
- Dictate the tempo. I understand being patient in the half-court, but the Cards need to push the ball up the floor every chance they get. Attack the middle under control and look to make the extra pass. Don’t let Virginia’s style of play dictate the game.
If Louisville can accomplish those three things, the Cards will win tonight. It’s Senior Night so everyone with tickets better be at the game and loud. Quentin Snider and Anas Mahmoud have given more to this program in their time here than we could possibly thank them for. Make sure they feel loved and appreciated. Thank you to both of them for sticking around through the mess they didn’t cause and always making me proud to be a Louisville fan.
Louisville 62 – Virginia 58.