The undefeated and 2nd ranked Louisville Cardinals are at home for Akron on Sunday night at the KFC Yum! Center.
Louisville is 5-0 and is beating its opponents by an average margin of 24.2 points per game. The Cards currently have four players scoring in double figures, led by junior Jordan Nwora with 22.0 points per game. Louisville is coming off of a game Wednesday night at home against USC Upstate in which it trailed well into the second half. It closed the game on a 36-7 run en route to a 76-50 victory.
Akron is 4-1 with its only loss on the road at West Virginia. The Zips have three players averaging more than 14 points per game. The backcourt duo of Tyler Cheese (15.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.2 apg) and Loren Cristian Jackson (15.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 4.0 apg) are the two best returning players off a team that finished 4th in the MAC East last season. Add Dayton transfer Xeyrius Williams (14.4 ppg, 9.6 rpg) to the mix and it’s a team that has the potential to be much improved over the course of the 2019-2020 season.
Sunday’s game is the fourth and final matchup of the Global Sports Shootout for both teams. Louisville is coming off of a game Wednesday night at home against USC Upstate in which it trailed well into the second half. Both Louisville and Akron are 3-0 in the shootout. Akron possesses wins over NC Central (57-47), USC Upstate (76-45) and Youngstown State (82-60).
Louisville will be looking to get back into form after a dreadful performance earlier this week. The Cards won by 26, but, all things considered, it was not a good look to be trailing one of the NCAA’s worst teams into the 2nd half. This is an Akron team that is pretty clearly the Cards’ best opponent since the season opener at Miami. A early deficit on Sunday might not be as easily erased. That being said, Louisville is pretty heavily favored by 18.0 points. Akron is a fringe top-100 team, but Louisville is the 2nd ranked team in the nation and is expected to win these types of games. The Cards have a chance to gain some momentum ahead of a tough stretch of games over the next couple of weeks.
The game tips at 6:00 pm and will be televised on the ACC Network.
Prediction: Louisville 82 Akron 65