Louisville Cardinals vs. Saint Louis Billikens - 3/22/14 Midwest Region
Saint Louis Billikens (27-6) at Louisville Cardinals (30-5)
College Basketball: Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 2:45 pm (Amway Center)
The Line: Louisville Cardinals -9.5 -- Over/Under: 133 See the Latest Odds
The Saint Louis Billikens and Louisville Cardinals will battle it out on Saturday for a chance to appear in the Sweet 16.
The Billikens somehow managed to overcome a huge deficit to beat the North Carolina State Wolfpack in overtime. Saint Louis shot 50 percent from downtown and received 22 points from Rob Loe in the victory. On the season, the Billikens average 70.5 points on 44.6 percent shooting and allow 62.4 points on 40.5 percent shooting. The Billikens rely on their defense to win games, as four of their six losses have come when they’ve allowed 70-plus points. Offensively, Saint Louis shoots 70 percent from the free throw line and 32.4 percent from three. The Saint Louis Billikens are 10-19-1 ATS overall.
Louisville also needed a little luck in the opening round, but was able to beat the Manhattan Jaspers, 71-64. Despite shooting 36.4 percent from the field, Louisville grabbed 16 offensive rebounds and forced 15 turnovers. On the season, Louisville averages 81.8 points on 47.1 percent shooting and allows 61.1 points on 39.5 percent shooting. The Cardinals have allowed 65 or less points in their last five games. Offensively, Louisville shoots 66.3 percent from the free throw line and 37 percent from beyond the arc. The Louisville Cardinals are 19-14 ATS overall.
The Billikens are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games and 1-8-1 ATS in their last 10 games overall. The Cardinals are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall and 9-3 ATS in their last 12 NCAA Tournament games.
This is going to be your classic slow-paced game that involves a lot of defense and tough plays. Nothing is going to come easy for either team, which is why I’m taking the points. Saint Louis is a good team when it’s playing both sides of the ball. Louisville is a national championship contender, but Thursday’s game against Manhattan showed a few chinks in the armor.
I’ll take the Billikens to keep this game within single digits.