Louisville Cardinals at Virginia Cavaliers
Well, the world will be watching as the second best team in the nation, the Virginia Cavaliers will take on a
perennial power house in the Louisville Cardinals come 3 PM. The game will be played in John Paul jones Arena in
Charlottesville, Virginia and surely looks to be a great contest. The Louisville Cardinals would love to pull the upset
on the road in front of Virginia’s home crowd. It would be great for their position going into the tournament and
could greatly affect their seeding.
The two teams, offensively are quite similar. They each average around the same points total, Virginia averaging
72 points per game and Cardinals averaging 74.9 per game. On top of that, the teams average roughly the
identical number of rebounds per game, Virginia at 35.3 and Louisville at 37.5 respectably. Unfortunately, that
may be where the similarities end, however. Virginia is -12 ½ in this game over Louisville.
Louisville relies on their offense to get them going, whereas Virginia is led by efforts at the other end of the floor.
Virginia controls the tempo and the momentum of their opponent by controlling possessions and limiting quality
opportunities with overpowering defense. Virginia typically keeps their points total relatively consistent from
game to game and Louisville, if hot on a particular night, can score over a hundred points, something fairly
uncommon at the college level. Virginia, if they have a weakness, is just that. They cannot seem to score more
than 80 points on a given night, save for those that turned into a complete exhibition game against far lesser
competition. However, with that in mind, Virginia also has not scored fewer than 63 points, but one time. That
came in a victory against Miami in which they scored just 56, but held the Hurricanes to only 46. They control the
game and their offensive production to meet the needs of the game. If their defense is containing the opposition,
they likely won’t be dropping many points, because, well, they don’t need to.
Shots Will be Limited
Louisville is a far more inefficient team in general than the Cavaliers. They shoot a combined 43.6 percent from
the floor while Virginia is successful in 47.9 percent of their shots taken. Aside from the efficiency gap, the two
teams play with a different style of aggressiveness as well. The Cardinals average only 4.8 steals per game and just
2.9 blocks. That is a remarkable number, especially in this comparison. The Cavaliers of Virginia are widely touted
as the best defensive team in the land, but still they only average 5.5 steals and just under 4 blocks per contest.
Cavaliers Escape Narrow Win; Cardinals Cover
Due to their aggressive nature, I think the Cavaliers will keep the pedal depressed, but I think the Cardinals will
make it a game. Still, I think the Cavs will pull it out in front of their home crowd and win by a score of 65 – 62. Bet
on Louisville +12 ½ on Saturday.