Louisville (19-4, 7-3) at Virginia (17-5, 7-3)
When: Monday, February 6th 2017
Where: John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, VA
Time: 7:00 ET | TV: ESPN
The high-flying Louisville Cardinals visit the defensive-minded Virginia Cavaliers on Monday night in a game that will break a third-place tie in the ACC standings. Louisville enters the game on a big roll, winning three straight contests by huge margins. The Cardinals have won their last three games by margins of 55 (at Pittsburgh), 25 (vs. North Carolina State) and 23 (at Boston College). Louisville has averaged 93.7 points during its current winning streak despite going through some injury issues at the moment. The Cardinals got 19 points apiece from Deng Adel and Donovan Mitchell, both of whom shot 7-of-10 against Boston College. Adel has scored in double figures in a career-high five straight games. Louisville was playing without point guard Quentin Snider and backup Tony Hicks, although coach Rick Pitino stated that they’ll be healthy in about a week. David Levitch, a former walk-on, started at point guard versus the Eagles and shot 1-of-7 and scored three points. Louisville will host Miami on Saturday in their next game.
The Cavaliers have been stumbling a bit, losing two of their last three, including a heart-breaker at Villanova on January 29th, losing the game at the buzzer. After rebounding for a resounding 71-48 win over Virginia Tech, the Cavaliers blew a 12-point half lead in a 66-62 loss at Syracuse on Saturday. The Cavaliers still lead the country in points allowed (54.0), but will have a tough task slowing down the Cardinals. The Cavaliers’ bench outscored their starters against Syracuse with the reserves totaling 33 of the team’s 62 points. Backup guard Kyle Guy scored a team-high 14 points behind 4-of-6 shooting from long range and increased his season mark to 48.4% from 3-point territory. London Perrantes is a 42.3% 3-point shooter and knocked down 3-of-5 against the Orange while finishing with 11 points and eight assists. After scoring 37 points in the first 18 games, Virginia guard Ty Jerome has 39 points in the last four games.
Virginia has won four of the five meetings since Louisville joined the ACC and I think their stout defense gets it done tonight as Snider’s injury for the Cardinals is big. Virginia is 9-2 at home this season. I’ll lay the points.
Pick: Virginia -3.5