Louisville Cardinals vs. Virginia Cavaliers Pick & Prediction JANUARY 27th 2024

Taine Murray never stops putting in the work for the Virginia Cavaliers.

The junior guard scored 11 points off the bench in a 59-53 overtime win at home against North Carolina State on Wednesday night and has proven to be a key role player.

He’ll look to continue making an impact when the Cavaliers (14-5, 5-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) hit the road to face Louisville (6-13, 1-7) on Saturday afternoon. Murray is averaging just 3.1 points per game but is making strides.

“Taine is probably one of the hardest workers on his team,” teammate Ryan Dunn said after the win against the Wolfpack. “There’s days where we have an off day and he’ll come in and work out at 7 in the morning. He’ll stay at night to come shoot. I see (the progress) and you guys are able to see it now, too.”

Virginia has won its last three but will face a big test on the road, where the Cavaliers are just 1-4 in true road games this season.

Reece Beekman leads the Cavaliers with 13.1 points, 6.1 assists and 2.3 steals per game and Isaac McKneely averages 11.8 points thanks to 46.5 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Virginia averages 65.2 points per game and allows just 57.9, third fewest in Division I.

Louisville is coming off an 83-69 loss to No. 12 Duke on Tuesday and has struggled defensively.

“In order to get over the hump, we’ve got to tighten up,” Louisville coach Kenny Payne said after the loss to the Blue Devils.

The Cardinals have dropped four consecutive games and playing at home against Virginia might not be an advantage as they are just 5-6 on their own floor this season.

They have allowed nearly 80 points per game (78.1) while averaging 72.9 points per game. Mike James is the scoring leader for the Cardinals, putting up 14.0 points per game. Skyy Clark (13.6), Tre White (12.3) and Brandon Huntley-Hatfield (11.1) have also been key contributors.

Virginia won the first meeting 77-53 in Charlottesville on Jan. 3.

–Field Level Media

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