While most of the Cavalier faithful will have their eyes trained on the goings on of the basketball games in Chicago, the baseball team continues ACC play in Louisville. (If only the Tournament Committee had given the Hoos the South bracket instead of the MidWest bracket...)
The Cardinals entered the 2016 season with high hopes of returning to Omaha after falling in the Super Regionals last season. Prior to the NCAA Tournament, Louisville won the ACC Regular Season title by posting a 25-5 conference record in their inaugural ACC season. Three of those victories came at the expense of the Cavaliers as they were swept in Charlottesville last year in dominating fashion.
As mentioned, the Cardinals have high hopes again this year and were tabbed the ACC favorites by the coaches in the preseason poll, locking up all 14 of the coaches' votes to be outright ACC Champions.
While their hitting is nothing to sneeze at, the Cardinals are lead by their stellar pitching staff. Anchored by Kyle Funkhouser, the staff has a 2.31 ERA and holding opponents to just a .184 batting average against. Funkhouser has disappointed a bit this season with a 4.40 ERA and 2-1 record. Last weekend in Coral Gables, he surrendered three runs on four hits and five walks while striking out four in only five innings.
While Funkhouser hasn't put up numbers for the hype he has received, Brendan McKay and Drew Harrington, the other two starters for Louisville, have put up dominant numbers in 2016. They are both 4-1, but McKay has 1.09 ERA and Harrington has 1.74 ERA. The Cavalier lineup will have their hands full this weekend with one of the most impressive staffs they have seen outside of the Orange and Blue World Series in quite a long time.
All three games will be broadcast on ESPN3.