NO. 4 LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (19-4, 7-3) At NO. 12 VIRGINIA CAVALIERS (17-5, 7-3)
Game Time: 7:02 p.m.
Location: John Paul Jones Arena: Charlottesville, Va.
Announcers: Sean McDonough (play-by-play), Dan Dakich (analyst), and Allison Williams (reporter)
Officials: James Luckie, Ted Valentine, Mike Eades
Favorite: Virginia by 7
All-Time Series: Virginia leads 9-4
Last Meeting: Virginia won 61-53 on Dec. 28, 2016 at the KFC Yum Center
Probable Starting Lineups:
Virginia enters Monday night’s game having won seven of their last nine, with theit only losses coming on the last two Saturdays. Nine days ago they lost at the buzzer on the road against No. 1 Villanova, and then Saturday they squandered a 13-point lead in a 66-62 road loss to Syracuse.
The Cavaliers are among the top 15 nationally in scoring defense (1st in the nation, 54.0 ppg), fewest turnovers (2nd, 9.9 per game) and assist turnover ratio (7th, 1.55), scoring margin (14th, +14.9), field goal percentage (11th, .494) and field goal percentage defense (16th, .392). They rank third in Ken Pomeroy’s current rankings, one spot behind Louisville.
—Louisville is fourth in the nation in field goal defense (.378), seventh in blocked shots (6.0 bpg), fifth in three-point field goal percentage defense (.286), seventh in scoring margin (+16.2) and 10th in offensive rebounds per game (13.8).
—Louisville has won at least 19 of its first 23 games for the fifth straight season.
—Virginia ranks first nationally in scoring defense (54 ppg) and second in turnovers per game (9.9).
—London Perrantes leads UVA in scoring at 11.9 points per game, marking the lowest scoring average to lead any UVA team in a single season (Malcolm Brogdon 12.7 ppg in 2013-14).
—Louisville has a 53-16 record (.768) in February over the last nine years (since 2007- 08), winning 19 of its last 25 in the month.
—Virginia is 38-2 in ACC home games since 2012-13.
—Louisville’s 165 victories over the last six years are the fifth-most wins in the nation in that stretch. The Cards are one of just three teams to win at least 30 games in three of the last five seasons (30-10 in 2011-12, 35-5 in ‘12-13, 31-6 in ‘13-14).
Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Virginia 62, Louisville 58