One good thing from the 63-47 thumping Louisville took from Virginia on Saturday, the Cardinals don’t have to wait long to try and wash the bitter taste from their mouths. The bad news is that will be easier said than done.
No. 2-ranked North Carolina arrives at the KFC Yum Center on Monday night for a 7:00 ESPN matchup with the 19th-ranked Cardinals. Sean McDonough, Doris Burke and Kaylee Hartung will be in Louisville for the ACC matchup.
North Carolina is a perfect 8-0 in the ACC and has won 12 straight games. The Tar Heels battered Boston College 89-62 on Saturday by forcing 23 turnovers. Brice Johnson scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Roy Williams’ club. The forward is averaging 16.8 points and 10.2 rebounds on the season.
Ken Pomeroy’s numbers rank North Carolina as the third-best offensive team from an efficiency standpoint. Louisville ranks sixth in defensive efficiency, according to Pomeroy.
AP college basketball poll week-by-week in a spreadsheet
Meanwhile, U of L’s offense went into hiding Saturday against Virginia. The Cards managed just 14 first-half points and shot 32.7 percent for the game. Louisville’s five starters combined to make just five of 26 field goal attempts. The Cards also turned it over 18 times.
Guards Damion Lee and Trey Lewis, the team’s leading scorers, combined for just 10 points. Lee scored six; Lewis four. Lewis has struggled with his shot of late. The grad transfer from Cleveland State has made just 18 of 63 shots over his last seven games for 28.6 percent.
Louisville is 17-4 overall, 6-2 in the conference and in the midst of a tough stretch. After Virginia and North Carolina, Louisville faces Boston College at home on Saturday, but then travels to Duke next Monday night and Notre Dame on Feb. 13.
In the second game of ESPN’s Big Monday doubleheader, No. 15 Baylor plays host to an improving Texas. The visiting Longhorns have won five of their last six, including a convincing 72-58 win over Vanderbilt last Saturday. Texas’ loss in that stretch came at Kansas 76-67 in a game in which Shaka Smart’s team led 17-5 early and 35-30 at the half.
Here’s the list of college basketball games on television for Monday night:
Monday, Feb. 1
▪ 7:00 - North Carolina at Louisville (ESPN)
▪ 7:00 - Howard at Maryland-Eastern Shore (ESPNU)
▪ 8:00 - SMU at Houston (CBS Sports)
▪ 9:00 - Texas at Baylor (ESPN)
▪ 9:00 - NC State at Floria State (ESPNU)
How Top 25 fared Sunday
- No. 3 Iowa beat Northwestern 85-71
- No. 6 Villanova beat St. John’s 68-53
- No. 8 Maryland beat Ohio State 66-61
- No. 12 Michigan State beat Rutgers 96-62
- No. 22 Wichita State beat Evansville 78-65
- No. 23 Oregon beat Arizona State 91-74
- No. 25 Notre Dame beat Wake Forest 85-62