Big 12: Baylor
Losing to Baylor in the 2016 Battle 4 Atlantis Championship game still haunts me. That game was a near perfect synopsis of what its like being a Louisville fan, as the Cards blew a big lead in a loss that was the only one in non-conference play. That’s right, Louisville went into their second ACC season sitting at 11-1.
Time for payback.
Head coach Scott Drew has built an incredibly powerful program at Baylor over the last few years producing a number of really good teams. One of his best seasons was last year when the Bears went 26-4 overall, sharing a piece of the Big 12 regular season title.
Drew will bring back nearly the entire roster, including his trio of guards Jared Butler, MaCio Teague, and Davion Mitchell, and they’ll likely be a likely National Championship contender. A young team like Louisville could benefit from seeing a veteran team early in the season in a game, especially if they didn’t have to do it in front of fans.
Louisville would match up well in my opinion thanks to their athleticism in the backcourt, and though they’d likely be underdogs it’s a game I think they could win. Baylor is a tough defensive team that would require Louisville to score at a level they did at their best last season, but they are smaller and don’t necessarily matchup well with guys like David Johnson and Samuell Williamson.
Jonathan Motley must pay.