Mississippi State Bulldogs (36-1) vs. Louisville Cardinals (36-2)
|Date & Time||Friday March 30, 2018, 2:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Mississippi State Bulldogs -2.5 -- Over/Under: 136.5
The Mississippi State Bulldogs and Louisville Cardinals meet Friday in the women’s college basketball NCAA Tournament Final Four at the Nationwide Arena.
The Mississippi State Bulldogs look for their 37th victory of the season to reach back-to-back championship game appearances. The Mississippi State Bulldogs are averaging 82 points on 47.2 percent shooting and allowing 56.1 points on 39 percent shooting. Victoria Vivians is averaging 19.6 points and 6.1 rebounds while Teaira McCowan is averaging 18.1 points and 13.6 rebounds. Roshunda Johnson is the third double-digit scorer and Blair Schaefer is grabbing 1.8 rebounds. The Mississippi State Bulldogs are shooting 39.5 percent from beyond the arc and 74.9 percent from the free throw line. The Mississippi State Bulldogs are allowing 29.5 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 37.8 rebounds per game. The Mississippi State Bulldogs have won 10 of their last 11 neutral site games.
The Louisville Cardinals look for their 12th straight victory to reach their first national championship game in school history. The Louisville Cardinals are averaging 77.1 points on 48.5 percent shooting and allowing 56.6 points on 37.3 percent shooting. Asia Durr is averaging 18.7 points and 3.1 rebounds while Myisha Hines-Allen is averaging 14.1 points and 9.7 rebounds. Sam Fuehring is the third double-digit scorer and Jazmine Jones is grabbing 4.4 rebounds. The Louisville Cardinals are shooting 37.7 percent from beyond the arc and 75.2 percent from the free throw line. The Louisville Cardinals are allowing 29.1 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 38.3 rebounds per game. The Louisville Cardinals are 7-0 SU this season in neutral site games.
The Louisville Cardinals are a really balanced team, as they lockup defensively and have scored 73 or more points in seven of their last eight games. The Mississippi State Bulldogs have topped 80 points twice in this tournament and five times in their last nine games, and when that offense is firing like that, they're almost impossible to beat when you factor in their defense that allows allows less than 40 percent shooting. These teams are very similar and have been consistent all season long. I'm sure they also want a rematch with UConn, as Louisville lost to the Huskies earlier in the year, and Miss State is actually the last team to beat them. I'm leaning Miss State, but it's going to be interesting to see the line before making an official pick.
I'm siding with the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the small line. Mississippi State has been way too consistent in this tournament to bet against and has the experience of making the championship game last year. Mississippi State has won 13 straight games by double digits and has found a serious offensive punch during this tournament. I'll gladly lay the bucket here.