NO. 9 LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (18-3, 6-2) AT MIAMI HURRICANES (14-7, 4-4)
Game Time: 8:06 p.m.
Location: BankUnited Center: Coral Gables, Fla.
Announcers: Tom Werme (play-by-play) and Mike Gminski (analyst)
Officials: Sean Hull, Brian O'Connell, and Mike Stuart
Favorite: Louisville by 4
All-Time Series: Louisville leads 7-2
Last Meeting: Louisville won 82-59 on Dec. 23, 2006 at Freedom Hall
Probable Starting Lineups:
The enigmatic Hurricanes have had a bizarre season that has included a 16-point win over No. 4 Duke, and a 28-point home loss to Eastern Kentucky. They nearly knocked off ACC leaders Virginia and Notre Dame, they own wins over NC State and Syracuse, but they enter tonight's game coming off back-to-back surprising losses against Georgia Tech and Florida State.
Miami possesses the ability to knock off just about anybody because they're home to two of the best players in the ACC. Kansas State transfer Angel Rodriguez is the only player in the ACC with more steals than Terry Rozier (2.1 spg), and he's an explosive scorer who's capable of dropping 30 on any given night (13.4 ppg, 4.5 apg, 42-of-127). Junior guard Sheldon McClellan is a more consistent performer, and leads The U in scoring at 14.5 ppg. Despite that solid mark, he's scored 20 or more points in a game just once this year. Junior center Tonye Keriri provides power in the middle, and leads the ACC in rebounding (10.0 rpg, 8.1 ppg).
Miami is 3-2 against ranked teams this season, including 1-1 against Top 5 teams and 2-1 against Top 10 teams. In the two losses, one was an overtime defeat, and the Canes came up five points short in the other outing. The Canes are 1-1 at home and 2-1 on the road vs. Top 25 opponents.
--Louisville has won 11 straight games in the month of February.
--Jim Larranaga leaving George Mason for Miami resulted in Luke Hancock ending up at Miami, so we should all give Coach Larranaga a standing ovation from our respective viewing locations this evening.
-Louisville has a 48-26 record in conference games on the road over the last nine seasons, claiming the best road record in both the Big East and AAC during its time in those two leagues.
--Louisville has won 53 consecutive games against opponents unranked in both major polls.
--Miami has defeated three ranked teams, including two (Florida and Duke) that were ranked in the top 10 at the time of the contest.
--Terry Rozier has averaged 20.9 points over the last 14 games, scoring over 20 points in seven contests. He has averaged 20.3 points in ACC games, tied for the league lead. He is second in the ACC in steals. He had his first career double-double vs. North Carolina (22 points, 10 rebounds).
--Louisville's 114 victories over the last four years are the most wins in the nation in that stretch. Louisville is the only school in the nation with three straight 30 win seasons, including a school-record 35 victories amassed by Louisville's 2012-13 NCAA Championship team (30 in 2011- 12, 31 in 2013-14).
--U of L is 159-9 over the last 14 seasons under Coach Rick Pitino when scoring 80 or more points (20-1 last season, 11-1 in 2012-13). That one loss a season ago came against North Carolina.
--Montrezl Harrell became the 66th member of Louisville's 1,000-point club during Louisville's win at Pittsburgh. With 1,050 points, Harrell is currently in 60th place on the U of L career scoring list.
--Wayne Blackshear is 131 points away from joining Harrell in the 1,000-point club. He recorded his 100th career steal during the win at Boston College last week.
--Louisville is 14-0 this season in games where freshman forward Jaylen Johnson sees the court.
Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Louisville 66, Miami 62