NO. 6 LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (11-1) vs. NO. 12 VIRGINIA CAVALIERS (10-1)
Game Time: 7:05 p.m.
Location: KFC Yum Center: Louisville, Ky.
Announcers: Doug Sherman (play-by-play) and Dick Vitale (analyst)
Officials: Bill Covington, Jr., Keith Kimble, Brian O'Connell
Favorite: Louisville by 3
All-Time Series: Virginia leads 8-4
Last Meeting: Virginia won 68-46 on March 5, 2016 in Charlottesville
Probable Starting Lineups:
Again fielding one of the best defensive teams in the country, Virginia enters ACC play with a 10-1 record, their only loss coming in a 66-57 home loss to No. 11 West Virginia.
The Cavaliers are among the top five nationally in scoring defense (1st in the nation, 47.2 ppg), scoring margin (3rd, +22.6), field goal percentage defense (2nd, .340), fewest turnovers per game (1st, 9.0 per game) and assist-turnover ratio (third, 1.85). Virginia is 11th nationally in turnover margin (+5.2) and 16th nationally in field goal percentage (.498).
UVA has had its way with Louisville since the Cardinals joined the ACC, winning three of the four meetings and holding U of L to an average of 49.8 ppg. They ended U of L's 2015-16 season with a dominant 68-46 triumph in Charlottesville last March.
--Louisville has a 31-4 record during the month of December over the last four years, winning 19 of its last 22 in the month.
--Louisville has won its conference opener in seven of its last eight seasons, and is 10-5 all-time in conference openers under Rick Pitino.
--Virginia has won eight consecutive ACC openers and is 7-0 in conference openers under Tony Bennett.
--Virginia is 22-24 against ranked opponents in the Tony Bennett era.
--Donovan Mitchell leads the ACC and is 19th in the nation in steals (2.3 per game).
--Virginia has been ranked in 53 consecutive AP polls since Feb. 3, 2014.
--This game matches the top two defenses in the nation as ranked by Ken Pomeroy's adjusted defense figures (Louisville 1st in the nation, Virginia 2nd).
--Virginia ranks first in the nation in scoring defense at 47.2 points per game and has held nine of its 11 opponents to 52 or fewer points.
--Louisville has yet to surrender more than 71 points in a game.
--Louisville has won 18 of its last 23 games that have come immediately following Christmas.
--Louisville is playing its second game in a stretch where it will play four consecutive ranked opponents for the first time in program history.
--Louisville is one of just four schools which have won 20 or more games in each of the last 14 seasons (also Kansas, Duke and Gonzaga).
--Louisville has opened with an 11-1 record each of the last five seasons.
Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Louisville 59, Virginia 57