College Basketball Pick
A share of the ACC regular season title is still on the table for both of these teams, but it will require a win here and some extra help. Louisville and Virginia both sit at 12-5 in Conference play, one Game behind Miami and North Carolina, both of whom have road Games to close the season.
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Unfortunately for the Cardinals, this is it due to their postseason ban. This will be the last Game for players that transferred over like Damion Lee and Trey Lewis, which is unfortunate considering how well this team has played throughout the year, currently sporting a No. 11 ranking in the AP Polls. The bad news is that they face a team that they had major issues with the first time around in Virginia.
The Cavaliers controlled the first meeting from the start, holding Louisville to just 14 points in the first half. In the end, Virginia won 63-47 on the road, which is an impressive feat, especially at the KFC Yum! Center. Virginia’s defense was too much for Louisville to handle as the Cardinals didn’t even have a starter in double figures. They shot just 32.7% from the field, while Virginia was as efficient as possible with a 26-of-45 clip from the floor.
But out of everyone, maybe the most disappointing player for Louisville was Chinanu Onuaku, who finished with zero field goal attempts and five turnovers in 19 minutes of action. Onuaku didn’t know how to handle Virginia’s double-teaming in the post and that was the start of the Cardinals’ issues. If Onuaku can’t figure out how to handle that pressure in this Game, it will likely be a similar result. Onuaku is a guy that has regularly had double-doubles and for him to get absolutely nothing, doesn’t help his team’s case at all.
In addition, the seniors Lee and Lewis need to do a little more. Lee had just seven field goal attempts and six points to go with Four fouls and Four turnovers. That’s a significant stat considering Lee averages 16.2 points per Game on the season. But does the Louisville offense have any answers this time around? The Cardinals haven’t reached 70 points in three straight Games, only scoring 56 points in their win over Georgia Tech during the week.
Virginia’s style of basketball is not a great fit for Louisville and the Cavaliers have the savvy in the backcOurt to deal with whatever pressure comes at them. Malcolm Brogdon has been on fire lately and is a real contender to be the ACC Player of the Year. Funny enough, Brogdon only had 13 points in that first Game and Virginia still won by 16. Brogdon has regularly been over the 20-point mark in the past few weeks.
This may be Louisville’s last Game, but Virginia has been a hard nut to crack when playing at home this year, as they haven’t lost yet. The Cavaliers have a top seed in the ACC Tourney in sight as well as a 1-seed in the NCAA Tournament. A win here would give them a good shot at both of those things.
predicted Score- Virginia 68 Louisville 62