Louisville Cardinals vs. Saint Louis Billikens NCAA Tournament South Region Pick-Odds-Prediction 3/22/14
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 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Saint Louis Billikens and the Louisville Cardinals meet in round of 32 action from Orlando Saturday at 2:45PM on CBS.
The 5 seed Billikens squeaked into the round of 32 after erasing a 16 points 2nd half deficit to NC State to force OT and then pulled away in the extra session behind great play down low and solid free throw shooting. The Billikens had lost 4 of 5 entering the tournament but a win like this is likely just what they need to get their confidence back on track. Jordair Jett played through a groin injury to score 18 points and pull down 5 boards and 4 assists. Rob Loe was dominant in the post with 22 points and 15 rebounds and Mike McCall added 12 and 6. Saint Louis was aided by 17 missed free throws by NC State and the Billikens employed a hack approach late that worked out in their favors as the Wolfpack completely collapsed at the line.
Louisville advanced out of the second round with a narrow win over Manhattan 71-64. The defending national champions controlled the game for the most part and possessed a small lead throughout before hanging on late. Russ Smith scored 18 points and knocked down 11-15 free throws on what was an off shooting night by Smith’s standards. Forward Montrezl Harrell added 12 points and 13 rebounds and 4 blocks. The Cardinals were able to overwhelm the Jaspers with their athleticism and defense despite shooting the ball just 33% from the floor and 30% from deep. The win pushes the Cardinals to 30-5 on the year -- they will need to shoot the ball better against a much more efficient Saint Louis team on Saturday.
This game should be a good one as both these teams are experienced and feature solid lead guards in Jordair Jett and Russ Smith. I like the Cardinals physical presence down low with Harrell to be the difference as Louisville will break out of their shooting slump from Thursday with a 20+ game from Smith and a double double from Harrell for the late cover and advancement to the sweet 16. Check back for the line.