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Louisville vs. Virginia Tech preview: Cards host Hokies in ACC battle

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NCAA Basketball: Louisville at Virginia Tech Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

NO. 8 LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (21-5, 9-4) vs. VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES (18-7, 7-6)

Game Time: 1:05 p.m.

Location: KFC Yum Center: Louisville, Ky.

Television: ACC Network (WAVE-3 in Louisville)

Announcers: Tim Brando (play-by-play) and Mike Gminksi (analyst)

Officials: Roger Ayers, Tim Nestor, Patrick Adams

Favorite: Louisville by 13

All-Time Series: Louisville leads 30-8

Last Meeting: Louisville won 91-83 on Jan. 27, 2016 in Blacksburg

Series History:

Probable Starting Lineups:

Statistics:

Relevant Videos:

About Virginia Tech:

Virginia Tech (18-7, 7-6 ACC) has won its last two games, including an 80-78 double-overtime victory against Virginia on Feb. 12. The Hokies won 66-63 at Pitt in its last outing on Feb. 14 as they overcame a 13 point deficit in the second half. The team was dealt a huge blow on Monday when sophomore guard Chris Clarke (11.4 ppg/7.3 rpg) was declared out for the season because of a torn ACL.

The Hokies are 32nd nationally in field goal percentage (.481) and 54th in three-point field goal percentage (.380). Virginia Tech is No. 32 in the RPI. They are led by senior forward Zach LeDay, who averages 15.2 ppg and 6.9 rpg. Senior point guard Seth Allen is second on the team at 12.5 ppg. He can also do this:

That’s pretty cool.

Notable:

—Louisville is one win away from 1,800 victories over its 103 seasons of collegiate basketball. UofL is 10th in the nation in all-time victories (1,799-897 record in 103rd year).

—Louisville is 11th in the nation in field goal defense (.387), 11th in blocked shots (5.7 bpg), third in three-point field goal percentage defense (.283), 14th in scoring margin (+14.0) and 17th in offensive rebounds per game (13.5).

—Louisville has won 11 straight games against Virginia Tech. The only longer active win streak the Cardinals have over a program is 14 against Eastern Kentucky.

—Louisville has won at least 21 of its first 26 games for the third time in the last five seasons.

—In his last 13 games, Donovan Mitchell has averaged 18.8 points 4.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 2.2 steals and has made 37-of-90 threepointers (.411). Mitchell leads the ACC and is 16th in the nation in steals (2.2 per game). He is among the top 30 candidates for the Naismith Trophy for national player of the year.

—Louisville has a 55-17 record (.764) in February over the last nine years (since 2007- 08), winning 21 of its last 28 in the month.

—Louisville is one of just four schools which have won 20 or more games in each of the last 15 seasons (also Kansas, Duke and Gonzaga).

Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Louisville 79, Virginia Tech 65