Louisville at Virginia
Second-ranked Virginia looks to maintain a perfect ACC record and extend its winning streak to 13 overall when surging Louisville pays a visit Wednesday night for another big league showdown. The balanced Cavaliers knocked off fourth-ranked Duke 65-63 on Saturday, improving to 9-0 in the ACC for the first time since 1980-81 when Ralph Sampson patrolled the middle.
“Different guys at different times,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett told reporters after the first win at Duke in 18 tries. “They’re a team that’s a joy to coach, because they’re pretty clear on who they are, and it doesn’t matter who’s getting shots or who’s doing what, and I hope that will remain.” The Cavaliers lead the nation in scoring defense (52.1) and take on a Louisville team that scored 96 last time out in a 19-point victory over Wake Forest. The Cardinals have won five of their last six contests, losing only to Miami (Fla.) in overtime, to climb into second place in the ACC and hope to end a four-game losing streak against Virginia. “They’ve obviously been our kryptonite in this league for the last three years,” Louisville interim coach David Padgett told reporters of his team, which is second in the nation in blocked shots per game (7.3).
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2
ABOUT LOUISVILLE (16-5, 6-2 ACC): The Cardinals, who are seventh in the nation in field-goal percentage defense (38.9), forced 20 turnovers and recorded a season-high 12 steals against Wake Forest. Junior forward Deng Adel leads the team in scoring (15.6) and has posted at least nine in every game this season while senior guard Quentin Snider (13.1 points, 4.0 assists) has scored 16.2 per game in the last five. Junior forward Ray Spalding is the third double-figure scorer (11.0) for the Cardinals, despite averaging 6.7 over the last three, and tops the team in rebounding (9.3).
ABOUT VIRGINIA (20-1, 9-0): The Cavaliers shot only 39.4 percent from the field at Duke, but forced 16 turnovers and coughed up the ball just five times with no one registering more than one. Sophomore guard Kyle Guy led the way with 17 points and tops the team in scoring (15.2, 57 made 3-pointers) while senior guard Devon Hall (12.7) has been in double figures eight straight games, averaging 14.6 in that span. Freshman guard De’Andre Hunter (8.1 points), who is day-to-day with a sprained ankle, is scoring 13 per game over the last four contests and sophomore backcourt mate Ty Jerome (9.5 points, 3.4 assists) is also contributing.
1. Louisville senior F Anas Mahmoud averaged 13 points in the last two games and sits third in the nation in blocked shots per contest (3.5).
2. Virginia senior F Isaiah Wilkins tops the team in rebounding (6.6) and boasts 126 career blocks, one from moving into fourth alone all-time for the Cavaliers.
3. Cardinals sophomore F Dwayne Sutton recorded a season-high 13 points last time out against Wake Forest.