The Duke-Louisville game Saturday night will be the first time Rick Pitino and Mike Krzyzewski have played since Guitar Hero.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A few numbers to get the day underway, first football:
Sorry. I changed my mind. I realize it is only November, but Duke vs. Louisville is about as good as it gets for November college hoops. It's 9:30 Saturday evening in the Bahamas, the title game in the solid Battle 4 Atlantis event, the best pre-season tournament of the month. NBC Sports Channel is televising.
It's the first time U of L and Duke have played since March 1986 when Pervis Ellison, Jeff Hall, Milt Wagner, Herb Crook and Billy Thompson denied Mike Krzyzewski (and Jay Bilas) his first NCAA title at Reunion Arena in Dallas.
It's the first time Coach K and Rick Pitino have squared off since March 1992 – unless you count the time they squared off with Bob Knight and Roy Williams on Guitar Hero several years ago. Grant Hill and Christian Laettner won't be there to help Krzyzewski this time. I won't mention the score from the last time they met. You remember.
Here we go:
Duke vs. U of L: The games ended late Friday night so the guys in Vegas haven't had time to cook up a number. But Ken Pomeroy's computer formula likes U of L by a point with a 53 percent win probability. That's toss-up territory.
Jeff Sagarin's predictor numbers like the Cards by a half-point. That's toss-up territory, too.
If Louisville plays (meaning, shoots) the way the Cards delivered against Missouri, Louisville wins by four or five. If not, advantage Duke. The Blue Devils don't have much depth, but they're experienced and they've already handled Kentucky, Minnesota and VCU (three Top 20 teams in the Pomeroy ratings).
Seth Curry can score, but foot speed is an issue. There is a reason he started his career at Liberty. I can't see him staying in front of Peyton Siva and especially Russ Smith, who has been terrific on defense this season.
Duke expects Mason Plumlee to cause issues inside for Gorgui Dieng. Dieng should also create issues for Plumlee with his ability to bring defenders away from the basket.
All teams look better when they are stroking the perimeter shot. That especially seems to be the case for Louisville with Luke Hancock and Wayne Blackshear. Ask Missouri.
Now, on to football:
UConn at Louisville: The Cardinals are favored by 11 ½ against a team that does not score many points. AccuScore.com gives U of L a win probability of 68.4 percent. The Cards can earn a BCS bowl bid by winning today -- and backing it up Thursday night at Rutgers.
Kentucky at Tennessee: Make it Tennessee by 13 ½, which seems like a high number considering the Vols have been giving up points by the shopping cart. AccuScore.com also sees the game as one-sided, putting the Wildcats' win probability at 20.9 percent.
Indiana at Purdue: Boilermakers by 5 ½, in a game that former U of L assistant coach Danny Hope need to win to have any chance of keeping his job. AccuScore gives Kevin Wilson's team a decent upset chance, putting the Hoosiers' win probability at 46.7 percent.
North Texas at Western Kentucky: The Hilltoppers are favored by 11 ½ to close out their regular season with a win. The Toppers should roll. Their AccuScore win probability is 75.3 percent.