Louisville Cardinals (4-26, 2-17) at Virginia Cavaliers (22-6, 14-5)
Game Time: 2 p.m.
Location: John Paul Jones Arena: Charlottesville, Va.
Announcers: Mike Monaco (play-by-play) and Tom Crean (analyst)
Favorite: Virginia by 19
Series: Virginia leads, 21-5
Last Meeting: Virginia won 61-5 on Feb. 15 in Louisville
Probable 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.)
Currently in a three-way tie atop the ACC standings, Virginia enters Saturday afternoon’s regular season finale against Louisville one win away from locking up at least a share of the league’s regular season title. The Cavaliers also have hopes of being a top 3 seed in the NCAA tournament. A Quad 4 loss at home to U of L on Senior Day would thwart those plans.
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), and assist/turnover ratio (1.79).
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 2-16 against Virginia since joining the ACC in 2014-15, and has dropped 15 of their last 16 contests to the Cavaliers.
—Virginia is one of only two opponents that Louisville has not defeated on the road since joining the ACC. Clemson is the other.
—A Virginia win would lock up at least a share of the ACC’s regular season title. The Cavaliers have claimed at least a share of the title in three of the last four seasons and five of the last seven.
—Louisville is locked into the No. 15 seed for next week’s ACC tournament and is guaranteed to finish alone in last place with a loss to UVA on Saturday.
—The Cardinals are 0-6 against ranked opponents so far this season.
—Louisville’s 26 losses this season have already broken the school record for most losses in a season. The previous high was 20 in 1997-98.
—Virginia will honor Francisco Caffaro, Chase Coleman, Armaan Franklin, Jayden Gardner and Ben Vander Plas, and managers Jackson Selby and Anna Williamson on Senior Day.
—UVA is an ACC-leading 86-13 (.867) in league home games over the past 11 seasons. Duke is second at 85-15 (.850).
—Virginia has won 20 games for the 11th time in 12 seasons under head coach Tony Bennett.
—Louisville has already lost nine games by 20 points or more this season, the most 20-point losses in one season in the history of Cardinal basketball.
—According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Louisville is a 19-point underdog in this game. The Cardinals have covered the spread in six of their last nine contests, but have failed to do so in two straight.
—Louisville has lost its last regular season game in five consecutive seasons, with four of those losses coming to Virginia.
—Louisville has lost four games by 1-point this season. That’s the most in U of L history and tied for the most ever by an ACC team. The Cardinals are 0-6 in one possession games.
—Louisville is 219-14 over the last 20 seasons and 16-2 over the last three when scoring 80 points or more. The Cards have eclipsed the 80-point mark just three times 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 75, Louisville 55