#5 Louisville Hosts #9 Michigan
Although there have been plenty of Top 10 match-ups this season (eight so far), #5 Louisville hosts #9 Michigan at the KFC Yum! Center tonight at 7:00 p.m., ET. This Big Ten/ACC match-up will be aired on ESPN as well as on radio on 790-AM WKRD with Nick Curran and Adrienne Johnson.
Coming home following a 3-0 trip out west, Louisville carries a 5-1 record on the year. The five-game win streak is highlighted by a 30.4 scoring margin in favor of the Cards. You can thank the tenacious Louisville defense for that.
The Wolverines put their unblemished 7-0 record on the line. They recently topped then-#16 Oregon State by nine and have two other games decided by single-digits, including an overtime victory against IUPUI near the beginning on November.
Michigan's entire starting five is a force to be reckoned with, but it's Naz Hillmon that's the true threat. The senior is one of the best players in the and is averaging a double-double at 23.9 ppg and 11.4 rpg. Her 0.623 field goal percentage (mostly around the goal) is one of the best the team. Hillmon won the 2021 Big Ten Player of the Year and has been named an All-American. Standing at 6-2, trying to find the right player to match up on her will be tricky. I suspect Jeff Walz and Co. will throw several different looks at her.
Michigan is outscoring opponents by 10.4 ppg, but allowing just 64.9 ppg so far this season has been a strong showing for the Wolverines. The defense is also forcing 13.0 turnovers per game while averaging 2.5 blocks per game. Hillmon has 10 on the year while Hailey Brown leads the team with 19.
This is the sixth all-time meeting between Louisville and Michigan. The Cards hold the 5-1 advantage including the last meeting- a 71-50 victory in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2019.
Louisville is rolling out new uniforms in honor of Oliver Lewis, an African American jockey who won the inaugural Kentucky Derby on May 17, 1875.
NCAA Volleyball First Round
We're just one day away from the first round of the NCAA Volleyball Tournament. 1-seed Louisville gears up to host the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) at 7:00 p.m. ET, Friday night.
The Flames are in the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever after claiming the school's first Horizon League title that featured upsets over 1-seed Milwaukee and 2-seed Northern Kentucky. UIC went 20-11 on the year and lost their only match against a ranked opponent, a 3-2 loss against then-#25 Marquette.
Daryl will have a full Friday column -- analyzing the WBB gams results and breaking down this VolleyCards match preview more for you tomorrow. Assuming things go as expected, Case will then break down another match preview the following day. Then, Jeff can recap that win on Sunday while breaking down a women's basketball game against Belmont on Sunday.
On Another Note
Besides photographing four UofL games in four days and a collaboration with the newly crowned Miss UofL, this weekend also has me back in action with my musical talents. I'll be out for our Cardinal Couple Radio Podcast Saturday since I have a dress rehearsal. (EDITOR NOTE: I can't wait to see the pictures of Jared in a dress).
Our annual Christmas concert will be this Sunday at 3:00 p.m., at Jeffersontown Christian Church. If you need a breather from sports or just need something to help get you in the holiday spirit please come out for the hourish-long concert. Free admission is always a plus, right?
So between four games, other photo obligations, and two days of instrument playing, if you see me sleeping under a table or on a bench somewhere, just mind your business or I might get grumpy!
Happy Thursday and Go Cards!