The Pitt vs. Louisville basketball collection has been about as one-sided as it may be. The Cardinals have dominated the Panthers by means of the years, proudly owning a 21-7 all-time benefit. Pitt is simply 2-5 in opposition to Louisville beneath Jeff Capel. The Panthers are simply 1-12 all-time in Louisville, with the lone win over the Cardinals coming again in 2006.
Louisville has been one of many mainstay powers of faculty basketball by means of the years, however that program is hardly recognizable this season. The Cardinals are off to a dreadful 2-16 begin to the season. Louisville will carry a seven-game shedding streak into tonight’s sport as they’re coming off of a 21-point loss to North Carolina on Saturday.
The Cardinals are beneath the course of first-year head coach Kenny Payne. Needless to say he has an extended approach to go to show issues round judging by his first yr. Louisville has struggled this yr, however they’re led by one of many higher guards within the ACC. El Ellis scores 17.7 per sport to go together with 4.7 assists. Nobody else on the roster at the moment averages double figures.
Pitt snapped a two-game shedding streak on Saturday with a sound 71-60 win over Georgia Tech in Atlanta. The Panthers have been led by sixth man Nike Sibande, who got here off the bench to put up a team-high 21 factors. Pitt enters this sport with a 5-2 report in ACC play, and can want a win to maintain tempo with the opposite groups within the high half of the league.
Can Pitt keep away from an upset and win in Louisville foe the primary time since 2006? The Panther-Lair.com employees offers their picks.
Stephen Gertz (13-5): No cause to get cute right here. The Louisville Cardinals are one of many worst groups within the nation, and by far the worst Power 5 group. There are causes for that, causes that play into the arms of the Pittsburgh Panthers. For starters, they flip the ball over on nearly 25% of their possessions and high-volume of these are unforced; Louisville is the second worst group within the nation in that regard. The Cardinals don’t shoot the ball nicely from anyplace both. The one factor that might give Pitt bother is that they do get to the free line at a good charge. But the Panthers are rolling proper now and are mature sufficient to not look previous an ACC highway sport. Perhaps they arrive out a little bit flat early – UNC did the identical factor not too long ago – however I don’t assume Louisville can maintain any run they handle.
Prediction: Pitt 75, Louisville 62
Houston Wilson (12-6): Similar to the Georgia Tech sport, this can be a sport the place shedding hurts Pitt greater than successful. Louisville is an absolute mess. There merely isn’t any cause why Pitt ought to lose this sport and I feel they’ll dominate from begin to end. The most vital factor for Pitt proper now’s to proceed to stack up wins in opposition to these groups they need to beat so that they don’t discover a dangerous loss on their resume.
Prediction: Pitt 79, Louisville 62
Matt Steinbrink (9-9): Pitt has not had a number of success at Louisville. They have but to win on the Yum Center and have struggled mightily. With the place each groups are proper now, that is basically a should win for Pitt. They have to finish the streak and keep away from any extra dangerous losses as they attempt to develop their resume. For probably the most, apart from one sport, the Cardinals have been dominated in league play. Pitt has probably not ran anybody out of the health club, so I don’t know if that’s within the playing cards. The secret is to leap on them early and they’ll doubtless roll over. The Panthers want this one and a pleasant little streak to take care of the momentum.
Prediction: Pitt 76, Louisville 64
Jim Hammett (11-7): In his first yr at Pitt, Jeff Capel pulled an upset over Louisville. Now in his fifth season, he will likely be trying to keep away from a fairly vital upset. Louisville is just not what we’re used to seeing from this program, and this maybe will go down because the worst season in class historical past. The Cardinals have been that dangerous. El Ellis is a really harmful participant, and naturally a number of the guys on the roster have been extremely rated out of highschool, so you must respect them to a level, however this can be a group Pitt must go in and simply beat. The Panthers are the higher group, and I count on them to indicate that.
Prediction: Pitt 75, Louisville 62
Chris Peak (12-6): Never thoughts the jinxes: all of us have to choose Pitt on this one. The Panthers have merely been higher than Louisville this season, and whereas the Georgia Tech soccer sport within the fall was a stark reminder that even a struggling group can pull off a win every so often – and it’s in all probability extra doubtless in basketball than in soccer – I’m sticking with Pitt. My one concern, which was obvious within the Georgia Tech sport final Saturday, is the scoring drought. The Panthers went 5:44 with no bucket late in that sport, however not like Clemson and Duke, the Yellow Jackets weren’t ok to capitalize. I don’t assume Louisville will likely be ok to capitalize in an identical state of affairs tonight, however I additionally don’t know if Pitt will hold its turnovers as low tonight because it did on Saturday (which helped hold GT out of it). Ultimately, it could be within the Panthers’ greatest pursuits to keep away from the scoring drought all collectively. If Nelly Cummings can carry over the second half that he had at Georgia Tech, I feel they’ll be simply tremendous.
Prediction: Pitt 81, Louisville 68