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Louisville at Miami preview

Here we go again.

NCAA Basketball: Louisville at Miami (FL) Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

Louisville Cardinals (5-9, 0-3) at Miami Hurricanes (11-3, 2-1)

Game Time: 7 p.m.

Location: Watsco Center: Coral Gables, Fla.

Television: ACC Network

Announcers: Anish Shroff (play-by-play) and Seth Greenberg (analyst)

Favorite: Miami by 16.5

Series: Louisville leads, 13-8

Last Meeting: Miami won 93-85 on Feb. 11, 2023 in Miami

Series History:

Probable Starting Lineups:

Louisville

  • G Skyy Clark (6-3, 205, So.)
  • G Ty-Laur Johnson (6-0. 160, Fr.)
  • G/F Mike James (6-5, 200, R-So.)
  • F Danilo Jovanovich (6-8, 220, So.)
  • F Brandon Huntley-Hatfield (6-10, 240, Jr.)

Miami

  • G Nijel Pack (6-0, 185, R-Jr.)
  • G Bensley Joseph (6-2, 196, Jr.)
  • G Matthew Cleveland (6-7, 208, Jr.)
  • G Kyshawn George (6-8, 205, Fr.)
  • F Norchad Omier (6-7, 240, R-Jr.)

Statistics:

Relevant Videos:

About Miami:

In the midst of the best run in program history, Miami once again appears to have a team poised to finish at or near the top of the ACC standings.

League Player of the Year Isaiah Wong is gone from last season’s Final Four squad, but three other starters are back.

Frontcourt player Norchad Omier is leading the way for the typically guard-driven Hurricanes so far this season. The Arkansas State transfer in his second year at The U is averaging team-bests in both scoring (18.1 ppg) and rebounding (9.1 rpg). Those numbers have him as one of the early front-runners for ACC Player of the Year.

Junior guard Wooga Poplar has embraced his heightened role with Wong gone, nearly doubling his scoring average from last season (8.4 ppg to 16.2 ppg). Poplar injured his ankle in the team’s Dec. 29 win over North Florida and hasn’t played since then. As of the time of this writing, he was hoping on making his return to the court against the Cardinals.

Florida State transfer Matthew Cleveland has been stellar in his first year under Jim Larranaga, averaging 15.6 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. He was stellar in each of his three games against Louisville during his time as a Seminole, scoring at least 13 points in all three contests.

Nijel Pack is back for (at least) one more collegiate season, and still has the ability to go off for 30+ on any given night. The former Kansas State point guard comes into Wednesday night red hot from the outside. He’s knocked down 21 of his last 38 three-point attempts. Against a team that defends the perimeter worse than any in the history of basketball, don’t be shocked if Pack puts up a large number this evening.

As a team, Miami has been electric from three-point range this season, shooting 42 percent from distance, a mark which ranks first in the nation. The Hurricanes average 9.5 made 3-pointers per game and have tallied 10-plus threes in nine of 14 games played this season. Thirty three percent of Miami’s scoring (399-of-1193) comes from beyond the arc.

Overall, Miami is one of the best offensive teams in the entire country, having scored 80 or more points in all but three of its games so far this season. The Hurricanes have notably eclipsed the 90-point mark seven times.

Where Miami has struggled this season has been on defense and in games away from home. Thankfully for them, they’re playing a home game on Wednesday against a team that doesn’t do anything particularly well on offense or defense.

Notable:

—Louisville is currently in the midst of a 22-game road losing streak. The Cardinals haven’t won a game on an opponent’s home floor since Jan. 2, 2022.

—Louisville head coach Kenny Payne is 0-20 in games played outside of the KFC Yum Center.

—Louisville is 2-22 in ACC games under the direction of Payne.

—Miami is 9-0 in home games so far this season.

—Miami has won four straight games against Louisville after never previously taking even back-to-back contests in the series.

—Louisville’s next five games are against the current top five teams in the ACC standings (combined 13-2 in league play).

—Louisville’s Kenny Payne and Miami’s Jim Larrañaga are two of 29 Division-I head coaches in the country who were NBA Draft picks. Payne was selected 19th by the 76ers in 1989, while Larrañaga was the Pistons’ sixth-round pick in 1971.

—Louisville is 12-52 over its last 64 games as a program.

—Dating back to the start of the 2021-22 season, Miami has the second-most ACC victories in the league (31), trailing only Duke (32). When playing at home, Miami is 17-5 (.750) against conference opponents in that same time span, which ranks third in the ACC behind only Duke (19) and Virginia (18).

—The Hurricanes are 149-49 (.750) at the Watsco Center during Jim Larrañaga’s tenure. Prior to Coach L’s arrival, the Hurricanes were 95-44 (.683) there.

—Louisville sophomore forward Danilo Jovanovich, who has started the last two games, transferred to U of L from Miami. He played in one game as a true freshman last year as the Hurricanes advanced to the NCAA Final Four. Jovanovich has played 36 total minutes in the last two games after playing 41 total minutes over U of L’s first 12 games.

—In nine of Jim Larrañaga’s 12 years, Miami has placed higher in the final ACC standings than it was picked in the preseason poll. Six times, it finished multiple spots above its preseason spot.

—Louisville is 222-15 over the last 20 seasons and 19-3 over the last three when scoring 80 points or more. The Cards are 3-1 in such games this season.

—Since 2004, Louisville is 129-0 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: Miami 88, Louisville 71