Louisville vs. Virginia Prediction, Game Preview

    Louisville vs. Virginia prediction and game preview. The short-handed Cardinals will look to steal a road game against a Cavaliers team that just lost at Syracuse.

    February 6, 2017

    Louisville vs. Virginia prediction and game preview. The short-handed Cardinals will look to steal a road game against a Cavaliers team that just lost at Syracuse.

    Louisville vs. Virginia Game Preview

    When: Monday, Feb. 6 – 7 p.m. ET
    Where: John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, VA
    TV Broadcast: ESPN

    Rick Pitino’s Cardinals (19-4, 7-3 ACC) have won seven of their last eight games, including a 90-67 victory this past Saturday at Boston College. Louisville had no problem with the Eagles despite playing without its top two point guards, as Quentin Snider (hip) and Tony Hicks (hand) remained out of action. Former walk-on David Levitch had three assists and one turnover, scoring three points on 1-of-7 shooting.

    Meanwhile, Tony Bennett’s Cavaliers (17-5, 7-3) have dropped two of their last three games, with the latest coming this past Saturday against Syracuse at the Carrier Dome. Virginia blew another lead, falling 66-62 after holding a 34-22 halftime advantage. The Orange went on a 19-2 run to start the second half, gaining the lead and never looking back. It was the first meeting between these two teams since Jim Boeheim’s 10th-seeded squad rallied from a 16-point deficit in the second half to stun Bennett’s top-seeded Cavaliers, 68-62, in the Midwest Regional final of last year’s NCAA Tournament. Kyle Guy had 14 points and London Perrantes had 11 points and eight assists for Virginia in the latest loss.

    These two teams met in the ACC opener for both back on Dec. 28, as Virginia withstood a late rally to claim a 61-53 win. Virginia improved to 9-4 against the Cardinals, including 5-3 in Louisville.

    Louisville Wins If …

    … The Cardinals are able to continue to survive the loss of Snider and Hicks—and more. In the win over BC, Pitino recieved strong performances from Deng Adel and Donovan Mitchell to help offset the depth issues at the point. Adel scored a career-high 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting, connecting on his first seven shots before missing a jumper with about 12 minutes remaining. Mitchell also scored 19, while Mangok Mathiang tallied 16. However, it was announced on Monday morning that the Cardinals will be without Adel and Mathiang for this game after violating Saturday night curfew.

    Pitino’s squad, which has won its last four games by an average of 33 points, will be severely short-handed on Monday night. Finding ways to score against Virginia’s suffocating defense will be quite the chore. In the earlier matchup, Snider, Adel and Hicks had eight points each. All three of those players will be out tonight.

    Virginia Wins If …

    … The Cavaliers get off to another strong start—and hold on for the win this time around. Against the Orange, UVA had a 12-point halftime lead and came out of the break flat. In the Cavaliers’ last-second loss to Villanova eight days ago, Bennett’s squad had a 12-point advantage with 10 minutes left before ‘Nova rallied for the home win. This is a concern, especially for a team that blew a big lead to Syracuse last year in the tournament, which prevented a Final Four appearance. The Hoos need to learn how to close to have any chance at a deep run in March.

    UVA needs to tighten up its second-half defense. The Cavaliers entered the Syracuse game ranked second in the ACC in field goal percentage defense (38.5). But the Orange shot 73.7 percent in the second half on their way to 44 points in the last 20 minutes. Louisville is hurting and missing some of its weapons, so the task may be a little easier for the Cavs in this one. But it’s an area that needs to be addressed.

    Matchup To Watch

    Long-range accuracy vs. Downtown action

    The Cavaliers were 7 of 11 on 3-point attempts in the first half against Syracuse, with freshman Kyle Guy hitting all three he attempted. They finished 12 of 24 for the game. Accuracy from long range may be needed against a Louisville team that features Mitchell, who has emerged as a star. Against the Cavaliers in late December, though, The ‘Ville went just 2 of 14 on 3-point attempts. Precision shooting will be needed against a team that makes it difficult to score.

    Betting Odds

    Spread: Virginia -6
    Over/Under: 123.5

    Louisville vs. Virginia Prediction

    The Cardinals will just be too short-handed against a Virginia team that will be very salty following Saturday’s loss to the Orange. Bennett’s squad puts the second-half clamps on a cold-shooting Cardinals squad.

    Louisville vs. Virginia final score prediction: Virginia 60, Louisville 55

    MORE: Kansas vs. Kansas State Prediction, Game Preview


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