Time: 4:00 p.m. ET
— Louisville Basketball (@LouisvilleMBB) March 6, 2021
Vegas Line: Virginia -1.5 t122.0
The Louisville men’s basketball team is at home on Saturday for its regular season finale with the Virginia Cavaliers at the KFC Yum! Center. Louisville enters the game at 13-5 overall and 8-4 in the ACC. Virginia comes in at 16-6 and 12-4.
The Cards have won two straight games, including an overtime victory at Duke last Saturday. Louisville’s midweek game at Virginia Tech was cancelled due to COVID-19 issues within the Hokies’ program. Altogether, Louisville has had 8 games cancelled this season.
Virginia was 11-1 in the ACC and ranked in the top 10 just three weeks ago. The Cavs have since lost 3 of 4 and fell to no. 21 in the AP Poll.
Louisville broke a 5-year drought last season with a win at home over Virginia. The Cards have only won twice over UVA since joining the ACC in 2014.
Last week’s win at Duke was the first quadrant-1 victory of the season for Louisville. Unfortunately, senior Malik Williams has been ruled out again with his recurring foot injury, so the Cards’ roster is back to where it was before February. You have to feel confident about how Jae’Lyn Withers has looked in recent weeks, so hopefully he can step up in Malik’s absence.
With essentially one week remaining before Selection Sunday, the Cards are 1-4 in quad-1 games. COVID had taken away numerous chances for them to improve their resume. If they can advance to the semifinals of next week’s ACC Tournament, they would potentially get another chance or two to pick up a quality win.
Louisville presumably got over a mental hump last season by finally beating Virginia. The two teams play twice every single season and UVA has dominated the series. The Cards ended up dropping the return game in the season finale last year on the road, but it feels like momentum from last February’s win at the Yum! Center is still important for this team’s confidence. For years, it felt like you could just pencil in a loss whenever Louisville met Virginia on the schedule. Now, the players know it is possible and hopefully have some confidence heading into Saturday’s matchup.
This UVA squad has looked very beatable these past few weeks, so now is as good a time as ever to catch them. Last week probably secured Louisville an NCAA Tournament bid, but another quality win could protect them from the First Four while also improving its seed by a couple lines. With a win, the Cards secure the 3-seed in the conference tournament.
Louisville is still not at full strength, but we know what they are capable of with the group they do have available. We will see if they can pick up another big win on Saturday.
Louisville 58 Virginia 55