Kentucky Wildcats vs. Louisville Cardinals Pick-Odds-Prediction 3/28/14
Kentucky Wildcats (26-10) at Louisville Cardinals (31-5)
College Basketball: Friday, March 28, 2014 at 9:45 pm (Lucas Oil Stadium)
The Line: Louisville Cardinals -4.5 -- Over/Under: 138.5 See the Latest Odds
The Kentucky Wildcats play the Louisville Cardinals in the Sweet 16 on Friday night.
The Kentucky Wildcats defeated Wichita State 78-76 in the 3rd round of the NCAA tournament on Sunday. On the season, freshman Julius Randle is averaging a team-high 15.1 points per game to go along with his team-high 10.6 rebounds per contest. Andrew Harrison is averaging 11 points per game and a team-high 3.8 assists per contest. Willie Cauley-Stein is chipping in with 7 points and 6.2 rebounds per game for the Wildcats. Kentucky averages 76.4 points per game while shooting 45.4% from the field as a team this season. The Wildcats are a great rebounding team, averaging 41.3 boards per game, which ranks 5th in the country this year. Defensively, the Wildcats allow 66.4 points per game on average and are ranked 9th in the country in blocks per game, averaging 6.2. Kentucky has not won three straight games since mid-February, but they have won four out of their last five games overall.
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The Louisville Cardinals defeated Saint Louis in the 3rd round of the NCAA tournament 66-51 to advance to the Sweet 16 on Friday night. On the season, the Cardinals are led by Russ Smith, who averages a team-high 18.1 points and 4.7 assists per contest. Montrezl Harrell is averaging 14 points per game to go along with his team-high 8.4 rebounds per game. Chris Jones is chipping in with 10.4 points per game and a team-high 2.3 steals per contest. The Cardinals are averaging 82.1 points per game while shooting 47.4% from the field as a team this year. Louisville is a great rebounding team, averaging 37.9 boards per game while they also distribute the ball well on the offensive end of the floor. Defensively, the Cardinals are ranked 2nd in steals per game at 10.1 and they rank 14th in points allowed at 60.8 per game. Louisville has won 18 of their last 20 games overall, with one loss coming against Cincinnati and the other to Memphis.
Kentucky beat Louisville at home 73-66 back in December and the Cardinals will be seeking revenge on Friday night. Kentucky starts five freshmen and even though they didn’t show their inexperience against Wichita State, I think they will be overwhelmed against Louisville. Louisville, led by Russ Smith, has a great deal of experience having won the national championship last year. I think the Cardinals will force Kentucky into too many turnovers and bad shots. Meanwhile, the Cardinals will exploit a Kentucky team that struggled to defend most of the year. I’m taking Louisville to win by double-digits in this one.