Line: Wisconsin -6.0
Louisville is on the road at Wisconsin Saturday for its rescheduled ACC-Big 10 Challenge game. Louisville is 4-0 on the season, but the Cards have not played since defeating Western Kentucky on Dec. 1 at home. Wisconsin is 5-1 with its only loss coming on the road at Marquette earlier this month.
We do not know for sure who will be available for Louisville. Chris Mack said on Thursday that seven or eight scholarship players could suit up. Louisville has looked good so far this season, but it is difficult to know what we will see on Saturday against a team ranked in the top 15 considering the team has not played in almost three weeks.
Game day at Wisconsin! #GameDayGIF. Let’s go Cards!! pic.twitter.com/ttvjig4w4O
— Chris Mack (@CoachChrisMack) December 19, 2020
Wisconsin is already a tough matchup on paper even if the Cards were at full strength. The frontcourt duo of seniors Micah Potter (6-foot-11) and Nate Reuvers (6-foot-10) are capable of beating you inside and out. This is the biggest test to date for Louisville’s young frontcourt.
No team has scored more than 67 points on Wisconsin yet this season. They are a long team that can struggle offensively at times but has a defense that is frustrating to play against. This is the type of game that Louisville could really use a veteran scorer like Carlik Jones. His work with David Johnson on ball screens is hard for any defense to defend. If Jones cannot play, then you worry about Louisville’s ability to penetrate and produce offensively.
The offensive end will probably end up deciding this game for Louisville. Wisconsin is a team that makes everything difficult for its opponents. Louisville will need to make its shots from deep and get to the foul line as well. What they cannot do is go on an extended drought. This is an experienced Wisconsin team that starts five seniors. They are favored for a reason, but this is still a team that Louisville can absolutely beat.
Ultimately, we have no clue who will be playing for Louisville and how they will look after many players contracted COVID-19. The entire team has not played a game in almost three weeks. It is a game that no one would fault Louisville for losing, but a win would be a huge momentum booster as we get closer to the new year. Louisville has played with as few as 8 or 9 available scholarship players so far this year due to injury, and different guys have stepped up. Louisville might be in need of some individual brilliance on Saturday. Who will rise to the occasion?
Wisconsin 67 Louisville 63