—Spread check: Virginia Tech by 4.5.
—The U of L women’s team got three first-place votes and moved up to No. 2 in the new AP top 25 poll.
—Gobbler Country previews tonight’s game inside Cassell Coliseum.
—I don’t know how much better this makes me feel about Saturday’s loss, but it’s a wild stat.
Earlier in the season in Chapel Hill, North Carolina was handed a 21-point loss at the hands of Louisville — the Tar Heels’ worst home loss under Roy Williams. It’s a pretty rare occurrence for a better ranked KenPom team (at the end of the season) to lose by 20 to an “inferior” opponent, but it’s not unprecedented by any means; from 2002-2018, that has happened an average of 33 times per year.
A narrative that could be developed is that even though North Carolina is the better team, Louisville is a just “bad matchup” for them, but we like to look past lazy narratives in this space, and look for some substantive context.
A rematch between the two teams has happened just 13 times a year (219 total games) in the sample. So what happens in these rematches?
Maybe the highest profile example of this dynamic was in the 2016 Final Four. Villanova lost by 23 on a neutral to Oklahoma on December 7th, only to win the rematch by 44 (!!) points in Houston.
Of those 219 rematches, the team that lost game one by 20 (i.e. North Carolina) has won game two 77% of the time - by an average of 8.2 points per game.
—CBS previews the Cards vs. the Hokies.
—Most of the time the “we’re not gonna watch” mantra from a disgruntled fan base winds up being totally hollow, but props to Saints fans here.
#NOLA has spoken.— Jeff Duncan (@JeffDuncan_) February 4, 2019
Super Bowl LIII earned a 26.1 rating in New Orleans, the lowest of of any market and the lowest ever in New Orleans.
—Louisville falls two spots to No. 16 in Andy Katz’s Power 36 rankings.
—LJ Nesbit reviews the UNC loss over at The Crunch Zone.
—The staff over at VT Scoop seems to be more confident about Louisville’s chances tonight than a lot of people nationally.
This is a game that has Ty Outlaw and Isaiah Wilkins written all over it. Both players have had to help defend the paint and if they slow the Louisville offense down enough while hitting a few three’s on the offensive end, Virginia Tech will win this game. Unfortunately for Hokie fans, I think the size and power will be too much to overcome. Louisville has too many weapons and while Virginia Tech will keep it close at home, the loss of Justin Robinson is too much to overcome in this one.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 61, Louisville 69
Virginia Tech will put its perfect 11-0 home record on the line against a Louisville team who has struggled on the road this season. The Hokies are likely to be without Guard Justin Robinson for a second straight game. Good teams find ways to win games when they are facing adversity, and that’s exactly what Virginia Tech did against NC State. I think the confidence gained from that win carries over and Virginia Tech handles business at home.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 61, Louisville 55
What a shocker of a game against NC State. Games won’t happen like that often, but the gritty-grind-it-out style game should remain the same for Virginia Tech with Justin Robinson out for the foreseeable future. Defensively, Virginia Tech should be able to make life difficult for Louisville, but will it be enough to pull off back-to-back masterpieces in 3 days? The Hokies are capable of taking down a Top-16 Louisville team, but this one comes at a bad time with unfortunate circumstances. The Cardinals might just pull off the upset on the road.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 57, Louisville 65
—Teams like North Carolina that got revenge for an earlier loss were among the biggest winners from the weekend that was in college hoops.
—All 34 of two-time defending USL champion Louisville City FC’s regular season matches will be shown on WBKI this season.
—Shoutout to U of L.
For the ninth time, UofL has been named a Tree Campus USA by @arborday for tree conservation efforts. We were first recognized in 2010 after developing a care plan for more than 2,500 trees on the 309-acre Belknap Campus. We are proud of this designation. #WeAreUofL pic.twitter.com/TbNLrK8bXE— University of Louisville (@uofl) February 1, 2019
—Not shockingly, last night’s dud of a Super Bowl produced the event’s lowest television ratings in years.
—Five former Cardinals are on team rosters in The Alliance of American Football, which begins its first season this weekend.
—When you gotta go, you gotta go.
—The Tech Lunch Pail gives us three things to watch for tonight in Blacksburg.
—Southern Miss is reportedly set to interview former Baylor head coach Art Briles, which is very, very gross.
—The NCAA delivered its third heavy-handed punishment of last week on Friday when it announced that Kansas big man Silvio De Sousa is suspended for the rest of this season and all of 2019-2020. Just like the previous two, Friday’s ruling felt excessive.
—Kevin Willard showing that Pitino tree lineage.
“You’ve got a 7’1 white guy on you...my son could go by him!!”— Pros and Joes (@ProsAndJoesPod) February 2, 2019
-Kevin Willard pic.twitter.com/m98yVGT0JF
—Asia Durr is the espnW national Player of the Week.
—The U of L football “Hard Knox” jerseys are now up on the U of L auction site.
—Louisville is No. 9 in the NCBWA preseason poll. The Cards are now top 11 in all six major preseason polls.
—Susan Sweeney Crum is definitely a Chris Mack fan.
Folks who follow Louisville hoops/athletics know how significant this Facebook post from Denny Crum’s wife is: pic.twitter.com/UNgcRIrpNa— Jeff Greer (@jeffgreer_) February 4, 2019
—The U of L women are a No. 1 seed in the latest bracketology from ESPN.
—Tar Heel Blog relives the win over Louisville.
—And finally, beat Virginia Tech.