Schools don’t often get an eight day layoff during the season. But U of L’s Cardinals have been given that respite to move on from loss to arch rival.
It’s a good thing. Though my guess is by Sunday the guys on the squad shall be itching to ball against fellows wearing a different color uni.
As has been noted before, the Cards ACC schedule is back loaded. Which, frankly, puts more pressure on these guys in January, if they wish to dance in March. Other than Carolina, arguably, the other three road tilts -- Pitt, Georgia Tech and Wake -- are eminently winnable.
But we must remember Seedy K’s Rule #8: League games on the road are never a gimme. Nevah evah. (Except for maybe last year in Steel City.)
But, you just never know. Take this week for instance. Marquette, which had a serious hum goin’, was blistered at St. John’s. (Not so good for U of L’s NET.) While Seton Hall secured a precious road W at Xavier. (Better for the Cards’ NET.)
The Cards’ four January home contests are all winnable. NC State is obviously the toughest of the ACC visitors. Miami, BC, and a return visit from Pitt, not so much.
But you gotta win ‘em on the court. Ask the Hoosiers how tough it can be? They barely escaped a woeful band of Illini in Assembly Hall. (Good for the Cards’ NET.)
* * * * *
Speaking of the NET, Louisville, once #18, is still in good shape at #26, up one spot from last week.
Now if we only knew how those rankings are fashioned.
* * * * *
Speaking of the Miami game, coming up this Sunday evening . . .
. . . there’s no line yet, but I trust U of L will be the favorite. The Hurricanes are short handed, and simply wore out in Coral Gables against the Wolfpack.
My one prediction about the game is that Khwan Fore will see more action than usual. He’s been playing a smidge over 18 minutes a game.
But I note Miami’s leading scorer (17.5 ppg) and catalyst is confident Chris Lykes, a 5-7 lightning quick PG, who not surprisingly also leads the team in assists (3.6 apg).
I daresay Ryan McMahon’s defensive duties on Lykes shall be limited. Christen Cunningham is too important to wear out, chasing that guy around all evening.
* * * * *
Though all conference games matter -- like I say over and over again -- none of this weekend’s league battles seem exceptionally compelling. (Except, of course, for the game your favorite school is competing in.)
The first must see ACC smackdown comes Tuesday when the Tar Heels venture over to Raleigh to play Kevin Keatts’ surging Wolfpack.
* * * * *
Two non-hoops non sequiturs:
Alabama is going to throttle Clemson Monday night.
I watch too much sports TV, especially that ESPN double header each evening, “Around the Horn” and “Pardon the Interruption.”
I hate how ATH host Tony Reali loves Woody Paige’s saccharine cuteness and allows him to win all the time.
-- Seedy K