Plenty of good college hoops action on tube Wednesday night.
Start just up the road where, fresh off a 73-70 victory over arch-rival Kentucky last week, the sixth-ranked Louisville Cardinals play host to ACC rival and 12th-ranked Virginia in a 7 p.m. ESPN2 tip at the KFC Yum Center in what figures to be a struggle to score points.
Ken Pomeroy’s numbers list Louisville as the nation’s most efficient defensive team. No. 2? Why that would be Tony Bennett’s Virginia Cavaliers. Louisville is allowing 85.6 points per 100 possessions. UVA is giving up 87.3 points per 100 possessions.
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No team has scored more than 66 points against Virginia this season. West Virginia beat the Cavs 66-57 in Charlottesville back on Dec. 3. Ohio State is the only other team to score more than 60 points against Virginia.
Louisville guard Quentin Snider is coming off a career-best 22-point performance against Kentucky which earned the Louisville native National Player of the Week honors from the United States Basketball Writers Association.
After the Cards-Cavaliers, another team that has taken the measure of Kentucky, that would be the UCLA Bruins, travels to Oregon for an important Pac-12 matchup.
Lonzo Ball and his Bruins are a perfect 13-0 and ranked No. 2 in the nation behind Villanova. Oregon is ranked No. 21. The Ducks are 11-2 with losses to Baylor 66-49 in Maui and then to Georgetown 65-61. This will be a real road test for Steve Alford’s high-scoring UCLA team, which passed an earlier road exam with flying colors in beating Kentucky 97-92.
Kentucky opens SEC play Thursday night at Ole Miss at 8 p.m. on ESPN2, by the way.
Meanwhile, about last night:
Tom Izzo’s young Michigan State Spartans picked up a big win on the road Tuesday, edging host Minnesota 75-74 in overtime. Freshman center Nick Ward scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Michigan State, which improved to 9-5 overall despite making just 10 of 22 free throws. Minnesota fell to 12-2 overall.
Texas’ woes continue as the Longhorns fell at home 63-58 to Kent State on Tuesday night. Shaka Smart’s team missed 16 of 18 three-point shots in dropping to 6-6 on the season just as Big 12 play is about to begin.
Sophomore guard Jaylin Walker scored 24 points, including 16 in the second half, for Kent State. Where the Golden Flashes won the game was on the boards, crushing Texas 55-34 on the glass. Two Kent State players posted double-doubles. Deon Edwin had 15 points and 12 rebounds. Jimmy Hall managed 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Nigel Hayes scored 20 points and grabbed six rebounds as No. 14 Wisconsin easily disposed of visiting Rutgers 72-52 in the Badgers’ Big 10 opener. Rutgers managed just 18 points in the first half. Wisconsin improved to 12-2.
Tubby Smith’s C-USA opener at Memphis was not a success. SMU beat the host Tigers 58-54 as Semi Ojeleye scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. The Mustangs are 11-3. Memphis is 9-4.
Here is the list of college basketball games on television for Wednesday:
Wednesday, Dec. 28
▪ 3:00 - Houston at Connecticut (ESPN2)
▪ 5:00 - Wake Forest at Florida State (ESPN2)
▪ 6:00 - Nebraska at Indiana (Big 10)
▪ 6:30 - DePaul at Villanova (Fox Sports 1)
▪ 7:00 - Virginia at Louisville (ESPN2)
▪ 7:00 - Monmouth at North Carolina (ESPNU)
▪ 7:00 - South Florida at East Carolina (ESPN News)
▪ 7:00 - Providence at Xavier (Fox Sports Ohio)
▪ 8:00 - Seton Hall at Creighton (Fox Sports 2)
▪ 8:30 - Iowa at Purdue (Big 10)
▪ 8:30 - Georgetown at Marquette (Fox Sports 1)
▪ 9:00 - UCLA at Oregon (ESPN2)
▪ 9:00 - Cincinnati at Temple (ESPNU)
▪ 11:00 - USC at Oregon State (ESPNU)
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