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Preview: Louisville Cardinals vs. Virginia Cavaliers

The Cardinals have a very quick turnaround against a program they have not had much recent success against.

Louisville Cardinals (11-8, 5-4 ACC) at Virginia Cavaliers (11-8, 5-4 ACC)

- Tipoff: Monday, January 24th at 7:00 p.m. EST
- Location: John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Va.
- How To Watch: ESPN
- How To Listen: WKRD 790 AM
- Betting Favorite: Virginia -5.0
- All-Time Series: Virginia leads 17-5
- Last Meeting: Virginia won 68-58 on Mar. 6, 2021 (KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky.)

Projected Starting Lineups

Louisville

  • F Malik Williams (6-11, 245, Sr.)
  • F Dre Davis (6-6, 210, So.)
  • C Sydney Curry (6-8, 270, Jr.)
  • G Noah Locke (6-3, 210, Sr.)
  • G Mason Faulkner (6-1, 185, Gr.)

Virginia

  • F Jayden Gardner (6-6, 246, Sr.)
  • F Francisco Caffaro (7-1, 242, R-Jr.)
  • G Kihei Clark (5-10, 172, Sr.)
  • G Reece Beekman (6-3, 181, So.)
  • G Armaan Franklin (6-4, 204, Jr.)

Main Storylines

Here are the more significant storylines to follow ahead of Louisville's matchup with Virginia: Points of Emphasis: Louisville vs. Virginia

Comparison

See how the Cardinals stack up against the Cavaliers, and who the statistical models favor: Tale of The Tape & Prediction: Louisville vs. Virginia

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Game Notes

Louisville

  • On the day UofL retired All-America Russ Smith’s No. 2 jersey, Louisville fell 82-70 to Notre Dame on Saturday in the KFC Yum! Center as the Irish shot a torrid 63.3 percent from the field against the Cardinals, including 15-of23 three-pointers (.652). Jarrod West led the Cardinals with a season-high 14 points, Jae’Lyn Withers contributed nine points and a game-high nine rebounds, and Mason Faulkner totaled nine points and a team-high five assists.
  • Louisville used its 10th different starting lineup of the season against Notre Dame
  • Opponents have shot nearly 10 percentage points higher against the Cardinals in their eight losses (.471) than in their 11 victories (.372)
  • The Cardinals made 10-of-21 three-pointers against Notre Dame (.476), the fifth time Louisville has made 10 or more threes this season. UofL made a high of eight threes in a game last season
  • Louisville has averaged 28.3 points per game from its bench this season. Louisville’s bench contributed 34 points against Notre Dame, UofL’s ninth game this season with over 30 bench points. The Cardinals have had 21 double-figure scoring efforts off the bench this season, including 14 from Jarrod West vs. Notre Dame. The Cards are 19th in the nation in bench minutes.
  • Noah Locke, fourth in the ACC in three-pointers made per game (2.4), has scored in double figures seven of the last nine games and on 13 occasions this season. He has made at least three threes in 10 games and has made 21-of42 threes over the last eight games (.500).
  • Louisville’s 34 ACC road wins in its eighth year in the league is the fourth-most in the ACC in that period.
  • Mason Faulkner has averaged 8.5 points and 6.0 assists while starting the last two games and has just two turnovers in those two. He has scored eight or more points in six of his last nine games. He is second in the ACC in assist-turnovers ratio at 2.70.
  • Malik Williams has grabbed at least eight rebounds in 12 of his 18 games and ranks third in the ACC in rebounding (8.6 rpg) and 21st in the nation in defensive rebounding (6.8 per game). He needs one point for 800 in his career.
  • Sydney Curry has scored 39 points in his last three games after combining for 33 points over his first 12 games this season (22 pts., 10 reb. vs. NC State on Jan. 12). He is averaging 10.6 points and 6.4 rebounds over his last five games. He tweaked his ankle against Notre Dame and scored four points in 13 minutes, but is expected to play at Virginia.
  • Dre Davis missed the Cardinals’ Jan. 19 game against Boston College after suffering a right ankle sprain in practice on Jan. 18. He returned to start against Notre Dame and totaled seven points and a career-high three steals. Davis has scored nine or more points in three of his last six games. Davis leads the Cardinals in free throw percentage (.811, 30-of-37)
  • El Ellis has scored in double-digits in three of his last six games. He is averaging 9.5 points per game over the last six. He grabbed a season-high six rebounds and scored seven points against Boston College
  • Louisville committed just seven turnovers against Notre Dame, matching its lowest total of the season. The Cardinals have averaged just nine turnovers over its last three games
  • After starting 4-0 in ACC games for the second consecutive season, Louisville dropped its next three games before winning against Boston College two games ago
  • Louisville has a 48-20 record during the month of January over the last six years (.706)
  • This is the first time a Louisville team has dropped at least eight of its first 19 games since the Cardinals started 7-12 in 2000-01.

Virginia

  • Jericole Hellems scored 21 points and Tarquavion Smith added 20 as NC State downed Virginia 77-63 on Jan. 22 at PNC Arena. The Wolfpack shot 60 percent and drilled 12 3-pointers, including nine from Hellems (5) and Smith (4). Armaan Franklin led the Cavaliers (11-8, 5-4 ACC) with 14 points, while Jayden Gardner added 13 points and Reece Beekman chipped in 12 points.
  • Reece Beekman ranks first in assist/turnover ratio (3.52) and steals (2.3 spg), second in assists (4.6 apg) and ninth in minutes (34.5 mpg).
  • Jayden Gardner ranks sixth in the ACC in field goal percentage (52%), 12th in free throw percentage (77.1%) and 14th in rebounding (6.8 rpg).
  • Kihei Clark ranks fifth in assists (4.1 apg), seventh in assist/ turnover ratio (2.11) and eighth in minutes (34.6 mpg).
  • Kadin Shedrick ranks third in blocked shots (2.7 bpg).
  • The Cavaliers play defense, take good shots, share and take care of the basketball, rebound, and play more defense.
  • UVA is led by its returning backcourt of Kihei Clark (8.9 ppg & 4.1 apg) and Reece Beekman (8.3 ppg, 4.6 apg, 3.6 rpg & 2.3 spg), and the additions of transfers Jayden Gardner (13.9 ppg & 6.8 rpg) and Armaan Franklin (12.3 ppg).
  • The Cavaliers added transfers Gardner (East Carolina) and Franklin (Indiana) to fill the void left by standouts Sam Hauser (16 ppg), Jay Huff (13 ppg) and Trey Murphy III (11.3 ppg).
  • Gardner averaged 18.5 points and 8.9 rebounds in 79 career games at East Carolina, while Franklin averaged 11.4 points and shot 42.5 percent from 3-point range in 2020-21.
  • Kadin Shedrick (6.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg & 2.7 bpg) and Francisco Caffaro (3.9 ppg & 3.8 rpg) anchor the paint. Shedrick started the first 16 games, while Caffaro has started the last three contests.
  • Kody Stattmann (39.4% 3FGs), Taine Murray (38.1% 3FGs), Igor Miliĉić Jr. (36.4% 3FGs) and Carson McCorkle (33.3% 3FGs) provide perimeter shooting off the bench.
  • Virginia is 211-50 (.808), including a 6-4 mark in 2021-22, in 16 seasons at John Paul Jones Arena. UVA was 10-1 at JPJ in 2020-21 and is 173-33 (.844), including a 138-18 (.885) mark the past 10 seasons, under Bennett. UVA is an ACC-leading 74-11 (.871) in league home games over the past 10 seasons. Duke is second at 74-12 (.860). UVA has won 10 or more home games for 11 straight years.

(Photo of Malik Williams, De'Andre Hunter: Geoff Burke - USA TODAY Sports)

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