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Louisville vs. Virginia preview: Cards start crucial ACC stretch with home showdown against Cavaliers

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Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (17-3, 6-1) vs. VIRGINIA CAVALIERS (16-4, 5-3)

Game Time: 1:06 p.m.

Location: KFC Yum Center: Louisville, Ky.

Television: CBS

Announcers: Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) and Bill Raftery (analyst)

Officials: Les Jones, Brian O'Connell, Tim Clougherty

Favorite: Louisville by 6

All-Time Series: Virginia leads 6-4

Last Meeting: Louisville won 59-57 on March 7, 2015 at the Yum Center

Series History:

Probable Starting Lineups:

Statistics:

Relevant Videos:

About Virginia:

The 11th-ranked Cavaliers have won three in a row, but needed a miracle comeback and a miracle shot (see above) to knock off Wake Forest on Tuesday. The win kept the Cavaliers from falling to 0-4 on the road in ACC play, and 1-5 away from home overall.

As is typically the case, Tony Bennett's team has won with defense this season, although they're doing a bit different than they have in years past. The Hoos enter Saturday's game allowing just 61.9 points per game, second in the ACC, but the Cavaliers rank a lowly 10th in the conference in field-goal percentage defense at 43.1. Basically, Virginia keeps teams from scoring points, but they're doing it more with tempo this season (last in the ACC, 349th of 351 teams in D-I) than they are defensive efficiency.

Offensively, Virginia is again led by All-American candidate Malcolm Brogdon, who is averaging 17.6 ppg for the season and 23.0 ppg during UVA's current winning streak. Anthony Gill (15.0 ppg) is an effective secondary scoring threat, while London Perrantes (11.7 ppg/4.4 apg/3.2 rpg) is one of the best glue guys in all of college basketball.

Notable

--Louisville leads the nation in scoring margin (+20.9), is second in field goal percentage defense (.369), fifth in scoring defense (60.0), sixth in rebound margin (+10.8) and eighth in offensive rebounds (14.8).

--Virginia ranks eighth nationally in field goal percentage (49.6%) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6), 11th in scoring defense (61.9 ppg) and 17th in 3-point field goal percentage (39.9%).

--The Cavaliers are the two-time defending ACC regular season champions.

--Chinanu Onuaku currently leads the ACC in rebounding (11.3) and blocked shots (2.3) and is second in field goal percentage (.613).

--Louisville is committing 11.7 turnovers per game, 11th in the 15-team ACC.

--Virginia is averaging 72.9 points per game, its most since 76.8 ppg in 2007-08.

--Louisville is 15th in the nation in field goal percentage (.491). UofL has shot above 50 percent in 11 of its 20 games, including .519 at Virginia Tech in its last game. The Cards shot 50 percent or above on eight occasions all last season.

--Virginia's lone road loss last season came in the regular season finale at the KFC Yum Center.

--Malcolm Brogdon averaged 16 points and 4.3 rebounds in his two games against Louisville in 2014-15.

--Brogdon is third in the ACC in scoring at 17.6 points per game, shooting 44.6 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from three. Brogdon is currently eighth in the KenPom.com Player of the Year rankings and is one of four ACC players in the field (Brice Johnson, UNC, is third, with Louisville's Lee ninth and Duke's Grayson Allen 10th).

--As a team, Louisville shoots 49.1 percent from the field, third in the ACC, 36.8 percent from three, sixth in the ACC, and scores 1.154 points per possession, fifth in the ACC.

--On Tuesday, Wake Forest shot 53.5 percent - the highest for a Virginia opponent this season - and forced the Hoos to go to a 1-2-2 zone for seven possessions. It was only the fourth time the Cavaliers have allowed at least 70 points.

--Louisville's 140 victories over the last five years are the second-most wins in the nation in that stretch.

--Louisville has a 17-3 record through 20 games for the third straight season.

--Louisville has a 33-14 record during the month of January over the last five years, including an 17-5 record in the last two years.

Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Louisville 68, Virginia 62