Following an up and down game in its win against rival Kentucky last week, No. 6 Louisville is prepping for a much different outing when it hosts No. 12 Virginia on Wednesday evening.
Facing the Wildcats, U of L faced an opponent that prefers an uptempo pace and is among the nation's leaders in scoring, pouring in over 90 points a game. When the Cardinals tip off against the Cavaliers, it will face a squad that values the importance of the reducing the scoring opportunities for its opponents.
The two games will be, as Rick Pitino called it on Tuesday, "polar opposites."
Virginia (10-1) leads the nation in scoring defense, limiting opponents to a meager 47.2 points per game and is second nationally in field goal percentage defense (34%). UVA's nine forced turnovers per game also checks in at No. 2 in the nation.
"Virginia is a very tough game to prepare for," said Pitino. "Very difficult in all phases of the game. You know it's going to be a close game and you know it's going to be difficult to score. You know you have to be as good as they are defensively. Virginia is always difficult to play against."
The Cardinals, which are 1-3 against UVA since joining the ACC and trail the overall series 4-8, has faced a similar opponent this season in Old Dominion. ODU trails only Virginia in scoring defense and Pitino has referred to that contest, a 68-62 overtime victory, while prepping his team for the Cavs.
"No matter how much you try to force the pace of the game, teams that want to play slow, who are talented, are going to play slow," he explained. "You just have to beat them at that game."
Tip-off is scheduled for 7:05pm and ESPN2 will broadcast the game, which Doug Sherman and Dick Vitale on the call.