Louisville Cardinals (3-22, 1-13) vs. Virginia Cavaliers (19-4, 11-3)
Game Time: 7 p.m.
Location: KFC Yum Center: Louisville, Ky.
Announcers: Anish Shroff (play-by-play) and Jordan Cornette (analyst)
Favorite: Virginia by 16.5
Series: Virginia leads, 20-5
Last Meeting: Virginia won 51-50 on March 9, 2022 in the second round of the ACC tournament in Brooklyn
Projected Starting Lineups:
- G El Ellis (6-3, 180, Sr.)
- G/F Mike James (6-5, 215, R-Fr.)
- F J.J. Traynor (6-8, 190, Jr.)
- F Jae’Lyn Withers (6-9, 220, R-Jr.)
- F Sydney Curry (6-8, 270, Sr.)
- G Kihei Clark (5-10, 167, Gr.)
- G Reece Beekman (6-3, 190, Jr.)
- G Armaan Franklin (6-4, 200, Sr.)
- F Jayden Gardner (6-6, 233, 5th)
- F Ben Vander Plas (6-8, 236, Gr.)
The highest-ranked team in the ACC, Virginia currently sits just a half game behind Pittsburgh for first place in the league standings. The Cavaliers are also on the short list for teams still alive to be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
UVA returned all five starters from last season’s team, which finished 21-14, 12-8 ACC (sixth) and advanced to the NIT. That Cavalier squad also ended Louisville’s season with a 51-50 defeat in the second round of the ACC tournament.
Per usual, the Cavaliers lead the ACC in scoring defense, allowing just 60.4 points per game. They also lead the conference 3-point percentage (38%), assists (16.3 apg), scoring margin (+9.6) and assist/turnover ratio (1.79).
Tony Bennett’s team enters Wednesday night’s contest having won nine of their last 10 games, with their only loss over that span coming on the road against rival Virginia Tech. UVA currently sits at No. 13 in the NET Rankings.
Virginia impressively ranks first nationally in assist/turnover ratio (1.79), fourth in turnovers per game (9.1), 10th in scoring defense (60.4 ppg), 18th in assists per game (16.3), 22nd in fouls per game (14.2), 24th in turnover margin (3.7), 25th in 3-point percentage (37.7%) and 36th in scoring margin (9.5).
If you’ve read this far you probably know everything you need to know about the Cavaliers: They play slow, they defend the hell out of you with their packline defense, they don’t allow second chance opportunities, Kihei Clark has been there for 29 years, etc. There’s no point in making this section any longer than it needs to be.
—Louisville is just 2-15 against Virginia since joining the ACC in 2014-15, and has dropped 14 of their last 15 contests to the Cavaliers.
—Virginia has won 11 or more ACC games for the 11 consecutive season.
—UVA is 7-3 away from home so far this season, including a 5-3 true road record.
—Louisville’s 22 losses this season have already broken the school record for most losses in a season. The previous high was 20 in 1997-98.
—UVA ranks first nationally in assist/turnover ratio (1.79), fourth in turnovers per game (9.1), 10th in scoring defense (60.4 ppg), 18th in assists per game (16.3), 22nd in fouls per game (14.2), 24th in turnover margin (3.7), 25th in 3-point percentage (37.7%) and 36th in scoring margin (9.5).
—A Virginia win would make Cavalier point guard Kihei Clark the ACC’s all-time winningest player (ACC regular season and tournament games).
—Louisville has already lost nine games by 20 points or more this season, the 20-point losses in one season in the history of Cardinal basketball.
—Louisville is 6-37 over its last 43 games dating back to last season.
—Virginia’s Reece Beekman ranks first in the ACC assist/turnover ratio (3.0), third in assists (5.1 apg) and 10th in steals (1.3 spg).
—Louisville’s 93-85 loss to Miami last Saturday snapped a 157-game winning streak for the Cards in games in which they had scored at least 85 points in regulation.
—Louisville is 218-13 over the last 20 seasons and 15-1 over the last three when scoring 80 points or more. The Cards have eclipsed the 80-point mark just once this season.
—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 128-0 when leading by more than 10 points at halftime.
—Louisville has won 162 consecutive games when holding an opponent under 50 points.
Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Virginia 74, Louisville 58