The No. 18 Louisville Cardinals play host to the No. 3 Virginia Cavaliers today at Noon in the Yum! Center. The game will be televised on WHAS and the ACCNetwork. Virginia currently sits as a 5.5-point favorite.
Virginia is exactly who Virginia always has been. They enter this game with a 23-2 record, with both losses coming to Duke by 12 points combined. They’re holding their opponents to 54.6 points per game, while scoring 71.8 points per game. Their famed pack-line defense is just as good as ever and Louisville will be tasked with beating the best defensive team in the country amidst a stretch of the Cardinals’ worst offensive performances.
Virginia is led by the guard trio of Kyle Guy, Deandre Hunter, and Ty Jerome who average 15.4, 14.8 and 13.1 points per game, respectively. Guy and Jerome are two guards who will absolutely light it up if given the space to get off their shots, while Hunter is a NBA-ready prospect with pro length and athleticism. Hunter is also the one who hit the game-winner in last year’s debacle. Virginia also uses a flurry of big men. Jack Salt is the only senior on the team and typically starts, but Mamadi Diakite, Braxton Key and Jay Huff all play big roles for the Cavaliers. Tony Bennett roles with whoever is hot, and Diakite has had his way with Louisville in the past.
I hate to say the collapse against Duke is still lingering with the Cards, but it is. Louisville’s confidence hasn’t been the same since that game and they’re going to need that confidence today if they hope to pull off the upset. I believe Louisville has the tools to do so and I also believe that Chris Mack’s rendition of the pack-line defense that the players practice against everyday will give them more opportunities for success against Virginia’s defense today. Louisville is a good shooting team and that hasn’t been the case lately. I know it’s tough to say that’s gonna turn around against the best defense in the nation, but these things have a funny way of working themselves out.
Louisville finds its swagger again today.
Louisville 65 – Virginia 60