It’s been far too long since Louisville basketball beat Virginia. Will the Cards finally make it happen on Saturday?
I don’t know about you but I am so damn tired of watching Louisville basketball lose to Virginia. It’s been frustrating enough having to deal with the Cards dropping games to arch-rival Kentucky each and every year, but when you get to ACC play and have to deal with again to annoying teams like Virginia, it makes it worse.
Since joining the ACC in 2014, Louisville has defeated Virginia just one time on a crazy unlikely Mangok Mathiang buzzer-beating jump shot. While they’ve had plenty of close calls, including the dagger that kept the Cards out of the tournament in 2018, they haven’t been able to get over the hump since 2015.
Tony Bennett’s squad was on a completely different level last season than the Virginia teams of years past, as Ty Jerome, Kyle Guy, and De’Andre Hunter provided elite offensive and defensive capabilities. The pack line defense has been a thorn in the side of the Cards dating back to Rick Pitino as year-after-year they haven’t been able to master what it takes offensively to beat a very stout defensive team.
This year’s Virginia team is not anywhere near close to what we’ve watched in years past and it’s shown in their record and most statistics. While defense still remains their calling card, their ability to score has taken a huge hit due to their deflections from last season as no one has been able to step up and provide the scoring needed to be an elite team.
Virginia is still very good and dangerous and will present a hurdle to Louisville’s current nine-game winning streak. There’s a lot to like about this year’s matchup for Chris Mack’s team and the feeling that Louisville should be able to take care of Virginia is one that I think most of Card Nation feels.
Let’s take a deeper look at the matchup between no. 5 Louisville and Virginia as we give our three bold predictions for the first of two games over the next eight.