Louisville Cardinals (12-16, 6-12) At Virginia Tech Hokies (18-11, 10-8)
Game Time: 9:05 p.m.
Location: Cassell Coliseum: Blacksburg, Va.
Announcers: Mike Couzens (play-by-play), Debiie Antonelli (analyst), and Brooke Weisbrod (reporter)
Favorite: Virginia Tech by 10.5
Officials: Bill Covington, Jr., John Gaffney, Lamar Simpson
Series: Louisville leads, 36-8
Last Meeting: Louisville won, 73-71, on Jan. 6, 2021 in Louisville
Possible Starting Lineups:
About Virginia Tech:
Picked to finish fifth in the conference before the start of the season, Virginia Tech has been one of the more disappointing teams in an overwhelmingly disappointing ACC. The Hokies have won eight of their last nine, but a 2-7 start to league play and a 10-10 start overall has almost certainly left them needing to win next week’s ACC tournament if they want to hear their name called on Selection Sunday.
The Hokies have hit their stride in recent weeks thanks to an increase in production on the defensive end and some torrid three-point shooting on offense. Mike Young’s team is second in the ACC in scoring defense (61.8 ppg, 19th in nation), and sixth in the country in three-point shooting (39.1 percent).
Big man Keve Aluma (15.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg) leads a balanced Va Tech scoring attack that has four starters averaging double figures in points. Louisville has been abysmal this season when it comes to locating and guarding elite three-point shooters on the perimeter. If that trend holds true in Blacksburg on Tuesday, then Hunter Cattoor, Storm Murphy, Nahiem Alleyne and/or Darius Maddox could be primed for big nights.
To have any shot in this one, Louisville has to be the more physical team, and the Cardinals have to be focused and locked in defensively. If either of those things don’t happen, then Tuesday night’s game could wind up looking a whole lot like Saturday night’s in Winston-Salem.
—Louisville has won 17 consecutive games against Virginia Tech, its longest active winning streak against a Division-I opponent. The Hokies have not defeated the Cardinals since Feb. 13, 1991.
—Louisville is 8-0 against Virginia Tech since joining the ACC in 2014-15.
—Louisville and Virginia Tech were fellow members of the Metro Conference from 1978-1995.
—Louisville has an all-time 13-10 record in games played on March 1, winning seven of its last 10 games played on that date.
—Virginia Tech’s game notes ask that media members refer to the team as “Virginia Tech,” “Hokies” or “Tech” - and not “Vah Tech.”
—Louisville is 16-3 all-time in games against Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.
—Virginia Tech head coach Mike Young is 0-2 in games against Louisville.
—Virginia Tech finished off February with a 7-1 mark, which was their best record for the month since 1972 (6-1).
—A win over Louisville would guarantee that Virginia Tech will be now worse than the No. 7 seed in next week’s ACC tournament.
—Mike Pegues is 6-8 as Louisville’s interim head coach this season. He is 1-7 since U of L’s parting of ways with former head coach Chris Mack on Jan. 26.
—Tuesday marks Senior Night for Virginia Tech.
—Sydney Curry’s 28 points at Wake Forest on Saturday were the most for a Cardinal since Jordan Nwora finished with 37 at Boston College on Jan. 29, 2020. Curry’s 13 field goals made (in 18 attempts) were the most by a Louisville player since Russ Smith finished 14-of-22 in a win over Houston in the AAC semifinals on March 14, 2014.
—Louisville has used 14 different starting lineups in 28 games so far this season.
—This is the first time a Louisville team has dropped at least 16 of its first 28 games since the Cardinals started 11-17 in Denny Crum’s final season of 2000-01.
—Louisville is 216-13 over the last 20 seasons and 13-1 over the last three when scoring 80 points or more. That lone defeat came in this year’s 90-83 overtime loss to North Carolina.
—Louisville is 166-7 over the past 20 seasons when shooting 50 percent or better from the field and 13-0 over the last three.
—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 130-0 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: Virginia Tech 72, Louisville 61