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Free NCAA Pick Saturday

#673 Virginia +7.5 over Louisville 3:00 PM CT

At 11-1 Louisville appears to have control of the ACC but the path has been one of the lightest in a down year for the conference. The Cardinals are balanced but there are few things in ACC play that the team has been the best at among the 15 teams. The one exception is an outrageous 45 percent 3-point shooting rate that won’t be sustainable. That is five percent better than the 40 percent season average for Louisville that checks in at fourth nationally.

Louisville has played many of the worst teams in the ACC already and still is mostly playing close games with five of the past eight games decided by 10 or fewer points including a big comeback on Wednesday night at home vs. Wake Forest. Virginia has won three in a row to climb back into the NCAA Tournament discussion while still a viable threat to finish in a top tier spot in the ACC. As usual this is one of the nation’s best defensive teams holding foes to 29 percent 3-point shooting. Virginia has five wins away from home this season including three ACC road wins while the team’s four ACC defeats are by 7, 8, 4, and 2 points respectively.

Virginia is 14-3 all-time vs. Louisville with nine straight wins in this series including four straight wins on the road. Only once all-time has Louisville defeated Virginia by more than three points and that was back in 1990. The offensive numbers for Virginia are problematic but the Cavaliers will slow the pace of this game to a crawl to minimize the possession count. Louisville has had trouble scoring inside this season and the 3-point shooting rate for the Cardinals looks certain to go down in this contest as the points will be appealing.

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