USA Today Sports
Virginia rebounded from an uncharacteristic home loss versus Duke last weekend with a clinical performance in Monday’s win at North Carolina. The third-ranked Cavaliers complete their run of three top-15 foes in succession for the first time since 1997 on Saturday when they host No. 8 Louisville. After allowing the Blue Devils to end its 20-0 start and snap its 21-game home winning streak, Virginia regrouped to defeat a ranked Tar Heels squad in Chapel Hill for the first time since 1981.
In addition to holding the North Carolina to its second-lowest point total of the season in their 75-64 victory on Monday, the Cavaliers became only the second team to shoot better than 50 percent against the long and athletic Tar Heels. The Cardinals, whose last setback also came against Duke, have won four straight since that Jan. 17 defeat following Tuesday’s 63-55 triumph over Miami (Fla.) — an opponent that took Virginia to double-overtime in its ACC opener. “We feel like we know (the Cavaliers). Coach (Rick Pitino) has been showing us film of their defense all year; they’ve been the example that he’s shown us on how to do it,” guard Terry Rozier told reporters Tuesday.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
INJURY REPORT: Louisville – N/A Virginia – N/A
ABOUT LOUISVILLE (19-3 SU, 7-12-2 ATS, 9-9 O/U): Montrezl Harrell (15.4 points, 9.2 rebounds) played all but one minute Tuesday, but paid a price in doing so, falling hard on his right side in the first half on a running hook before taking an inadvertent shot to the chest while chasing a loose ball in the second half. Rozier (team-high 18.5 points) has been nearly impossible to stop during the Cardinals’ winning streak, delivering half of his eight career 20-point games over that stretch. Louisville, which trails only Virginia in the ACC in field-goal percentage defense, paces the league in blocked shots, steals and turnover margin.
ABOUT VIRGINIA (20-1 SU, 13-6 ATS, 7-8-1 O/U): After yielding a season-high 14 transition points in their loss to Duke, the Cavaliers gave up only two to the high-scoring Tar Heels. London Perrantes (5.7 points, team-high 4.6 assists), who averaged 5.4 points over his previous seven ACC games after erupting for 26 in Virginia’s conference opener, complied with coach Tony Bennett’s pleas to be more assertive Monday, scoring 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Virginia leads the conference in fewest fouls, fewest turnovers, scoring defense and scoring margin, ranking among the top six in the country in each category.
*Cardinals are 5-12-2 ATS in their last 19 games overall.
*Cavaliers are 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
*Over is 11-4 in Cardinals last 15 vs. Atlantic Coast.
*Under is 4-0-1 in Cavaliers last 5 games following a ATS win.