Louisville Cardinals (0-7, 0-0) vs. Miami Hurricanes (7-1, 0-0)
Game Time: 1 p.m.
Location: KFC Yum Center: Louisville, Ky.
Television: ACC Network
Announcers: Derek Jones (play-by-play) and Perry Clark (analysis)
Favorite: Miami by 12
Series: Louisville leads, 13-6
Last Meeting: Miami won, 70-63, on Feb. 16, 2022 in Louisville
Projected Starting Lineups:
Miami’s Season to Date:
Coming off its first regional final appearance in program history, Miami has a realistic shot at equalling that March success in 2023. The Hurricanes enter Sunday afternoon’s ACC opener against Louisville with just one blemish, a lopsided loss to an unbeaten Maryland team that pasted the Cardinals by 25 on Tuesday night.
Per usual, Jim Larranaga’s team is fueled by a talented backcourt — headlined by first team preseason All-ACC’er Isaiah Wong. But the difference in this year’s Hurricanes is a true double-double threat on the inside.
Norchad Omier enters Sunday’s game averaging team-bests in both scoring (13.9 ppg) and rebounding (10.4 rpg). The Arkansas State transfer who had 26 rebounds in a game last season currently fifth nationally in offensive rebound percentage (19.8), and is one of seven D-I players posting at least 13 points and 10 rebounds per game while shooting at least 60 percent from the field. He will be a load for the Cards to handle inside.
Wong, who has destroyed Louisville for what feels like the better part of the last two decades, has actually seen his offensive numbers dip a bit this season as he shares more of the offensive load with fellow returnee Jordan Miller as well as highly-touted (and paid) Kansas State transfer Nijel Pack. The backcourt is still sort of figuring one another out, but the talent is more than enough for this to wind up being one of the best teams in the ACC.
Defensively, this team has had its struggles, but they do force a ton of turnovers. They will gamble for steals on every possession and hope that their opposition won’t be able to take advantage of the preferential situation if they happen to come up empty. For Louisville, this is obviously a dangerous set of circumstances. Miami also allows a on of second chance opportunities, and got killed on the glass last week by Maryland. If ever there were a game for U of L’s much-hyped frontcourt to come alive ... even a little bit ... this would be it.
—Louisville is 0-7 for the first time since it lost the first 11 games of the 1940-41 season. That Cardinal team finished 2-14.
—Louisville is one of just two power conference teams over the last 40 years to start a season 0-7.
—Louisville’s 7-game losing streak to start a season is the second-longest in the history of the ACC. They’ll tie the longest with a loss on Sunday.
—Since joining the league in 2004-05, the Hurricanes are 7-11 in ACC openers, including 2-5 on the road and 5-6 under Jim Larrañaga.
—Louisville is 9-1 in its last 10 conference openers, including 7-1 since joining the ACC. The Cardinals have won 12 of their last 14 conference openers overall.
—Louisville ranks 351st in the nation in turnover percentage (24.4%), as well as 344th in non-steal turnover percentage (12.8%). They tied their season low for turnovers against Maryland with 13.
—Louisville has a 50-15 record in the month of December over the last nine years.
—Louisville is 6-1 all-time in home games against Miami. Their only home loss to the Hurricanes came last season.
—The Hurricanes have won six of the last 12 games in which they trailed by double digits, dating back to 11/26/21.
—Miami was one of nine D-I programs that did not have a scholarship player enter the transfer portal during/after the 2021- 22 season, alongside Army West Point, Gonzaga, Grambling State, Kansas, LIU Brooklyn, Rutgers, St. John’s and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
—Louisville is 217-13 over the last 20 seasons and 14-1 over the last three when scoring 80 points or more.
—Louisville is 14-0 over the past 10 seasons when limiting opponents to no more than one three-point field goal.
—Since 2004, Louisville is 131-0 when leading by more than 10 points at halftime.
—Louisville has won 162 consecutive games when holding an opponent under 50 points.
—Louisville has won 156 consecutive games when scoring at least 85 points in regulation.
Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Miami 72, Louisville 65