The latest Ken Pom projection for Saturday's game has Virginia taking down the Cards fairly handily, 63-54. Vegas spreads typically follow pretty closely with these projections, but my guess is that in this case we're going to see an opening line closer to UVA -6 or -6.5. Just a hunch.
Louisville checks in at No. 10 in Luke Winn's latest power rankings for SI.
When the Cardinals won at Miami on Tuesday, all of their points were scored by just four players: Terry Rozier, Chris Jones, Montrezl Harrell and Wayne Blackshear. And for a 14:02 stretch in the second half, Rozier was their only source of offense, scoring 12 straight. In an (anecdotal) attempt to convey Louisville's extreme scoring concentration, I color-coded all the scoring plays from the Miami game, side-by-side with a Cardinals win from one year earlier, at Houston, when the distribution was much wider. This is what it looks like when a five-option offense turns into a three-option offense:
Winn's rankings also discuss Kentucky's defense being on pace to be the best in the modern era of college basketball. A chart reveals that U of L's 2011-12 Final Four team is the fourth-best defense since 1986-87, and that Rick Pitino has been the head coach of three of the teams that grace the top five.
Louisville-Kentucky remains the most-watched hoops game on an ESPN network this season.
Terry Rozier and Chris Jones are both rebounding at a level well above their respective heights.
The AP released a story on Terry Rozier's current star turn Thursday night, and the lede is just a bit awkward.
Of all the scenarios Louisville sophomore guard Terry Rozier imagined, having a breakout season with two-thirds of it left to play wasn't on the list.
I'm not entirely sure what's trying to be said here. Pretty much everyone predicted Rozier would be a breakout star this season, and although he's been even better in ACC play than he was before, he's been awfully good all season long.
Anyway, the story goes on and hits on most of what you'd expect.
"I didn't go into the season thinking about leading the team in scoring, but I've put in a lot of work that I needed to progress," Rozier said.
Even if Rozier's intention wasn't to be the high-scoring guard like Cardinals' All-American predecessor Russ Smith, he isn't shying away from the role or contact. In fact, his most impressive quality has been going into traffic for rebounds against taller opponents.
Rozier's muscular 6-foot-1 frame has allowed him to absorb the pounding along with a mindset that bumps and bruises are part of the game. That attitude developed back in Youngstown, Ohio, where the industrial city's hard-edged personality was reflected on the basketball courts where anything he got meant going after it on both ends.
"With one goal, it was everybody for themselves and that's where the toughness came from," Rozier said. "I've never been afraid to go against guys a little bit bigger than me."
Rozier has carried that approach over to his Louisville career, but the difference now is that he tries to find teammates before doing it himself.
"Anything that coach (Rick Pitino) needs me to do, I'll get in there and do it," added Rozier, whose 5.5 boards per game are second to Harrell (9.2). "It's something he emphasizes, and I make sure it happens for him."
Love that dude.
NFL Mocks profiles DeVante Parker.
Streaming is now available for the new 93.9 "The Ville."
The "Bubble Tracker" features have officially started.
It's almost as if the program isn't even about playing actual football games anymore. It's like it only exists for social media back-patting and expressing a deep-seeded hatred of Louisville.
CBS' Seth Davis and Doug Gottlieb serve up (video) an early preview of Louisville-Virginia.
Cavalier Insider wonders how different his weekend's game might be if Montrezl Harrell had ended up at Virginia Tech, or if he'd bolted for the NBA after last season like so many thought he would.
The decision surprised most, but in the end Harrell thought it would be best for his future.
"I felt like I wasn't prepared for the NBA," the high-motor Harrell said. "I had so many things in my game that I could improve on. Once you get to the NBA, it's a business. They don't have to develop players. That's what the D-League is for. I didn't want to be one of those players that got sent down to the D-League because I wasn't ready to play. Once I got to the NBA, I wanted to stay there."
Harrell takes pride in his game, his commitment to not taking plays off, giving it his all. He's one of those guys who dives into the crowd or dives on the floor to save possession, takes a charge, bangs for a rebound.
"I do whatever I can to make sure that Louisville has a chance to win the game," Harrell said. "Coach P always tells us that if you play for the name on the front of your jersey, the name on the back also gets recognized."
Louisville boasts seven new players and lost some quality experience after last season, leaving skeptics to believe the Cardinals might struggle in their first year of ACC play. As Harrell said, he and a core of veterans have been in the dogfights of other conference races before and expected to compete for an ACC title as well.
Pitino's team brings a 19-3 record (7-2 ACC) to Virginia this weekend along with a No. 9 national ranking.
Harrell will attempt to adding JPJ to his list of arenas that have experienced his thunderous dunks against one of the nation's best defenses.
"I don't get wrapped up in all the notoriety for dunking the ball," Harrell said. "I've added different things to my game that have made me a better player. But whatever I'm labeled as, I'm fine with it because I know who I am."
He wears the label of Louisville's King of Dunks. He wears it well.
Inside the ACC previews the upcoming weekend of hoops in the conference.
Did you know there are "Class A" and "Class B" technical fouls in college basketball? Because there are.
Roman Oben is embracing his new role with the NFL.
Terry Rozier is one of the sophomores who are taking aim at the Wooden Award.
And finally, I'm talking college hoops on Yahoo Sports Radio this morning with Steve Czaban at 8:30. You can listen on Sirius or XM channel 92, or streaming live here.