Louisville vs. Minnesota - 11/14/14 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Minnesota Golden Gophers (0-0) at Louisville Cardinals (0-0)
College Basketball: Friday, November 14, 2014 at 7:00 pm (USCG Air Station Borinquen)
The Line: Louisville Cardinals -8.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Minnesota Golden Gophers and Louisville Cardinals open the season Friday in Puerto Rico.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers made some noise last season under head coach Richard Pitino and have enough pieces in place to continue their success. Minnesota may have the best backcourt in the Big Ten led by Andre Hollins and DeAndre Mathieu. Hollins led the Golden Gophers last season with 13.6 points per game on 34.9 percent shooting from deep, and Mathieu dropped 12 points and 4.2 assists. Those two feeding off each other each night gives Minnesota a fighting chance against just about anybody this season. The additions of Bakary Konate and Gaston Diedhiou also give the Golden Gophers a much needed boost in the paint after ranking 193rd in the country in rebounds last season. The Minnesota Golden Gophers rely on an up-and-down style of play and quick hands on the defensive end that lead to quick baskets. Minnesota could be that surprise team in the Big Ten this season.
The Louisville Cardinals are looking to have another big season under head coach Rick Pitino, and could very well with Montrezl Harrell leading the way. Harrell is one of the top players in the entire country after racking up 14 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game last season. He’s a beast at both ends of the floor and nearly unguardable once in the paint. With Russ Smith gone, Chris Jones will be Louisville's new leader, as he finished last season with an average of 10.2 points on 37.7 percent shooting from deep. Louisville will remain one of the better defensive teams in the country with a lot of key guys returning, but the questions offensively have many hesitant on calling them a championship contender. An improved year from Wayne Blackshear could be the difference for the Cardinals on the offensive end. Regardless, Louisville is a team to watch and a threat against anybody it plays this season.
The Cardinals are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 non-conference games and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall. The Golden Gophers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
This is an interesting matchup between two teams that could clinch an NCAA tournament spot. The thing to remember here is that the game will be played in a hot gym that doesn't have AC. This is a chance for Minnesota to prove itself and given the circumstances, I'm taking the points here.