NCAAB – THU 3/21 | 12:15 PM EDT | WELLS FARGO ARENA
Will Minnesota have enough offensive Firepower?
The Minnesota Golden Gophers won two games in the Big Ten Tournament, an overtime thriller over Penn State and a surprising upset of Purdue, to clinch their spot. But I’m still not sold on them, and Minnesota didn’t manage to keep any momentum going as they got blown out by 27 points by Michigan in their last game. The Golden Gophers didn’t play particularly well against Penn State or Purdue, as both of those teams kind of choked the game away. Minnesota just don’t have enough offensive firepower for this time of year, and they aren’t ever a threat to knock down threes. In fact, Minnesota have just one rotation player who shoots over 30.6% from three point land, and that won’t cut it against a Louisville defense that is solid on the interior.
Can Louisville Bounce Back after being humiliated in the Big Ten tourney?
The Louisville Cardinals have been having an undeniably impressive bounce-back year. Louisville program was embroiled in scandal seemingly every year under Pitino, and things are finally back to normal. After Pitino was fired midway through last year, the team struggled amidst the distraction and limped to an NIT berth. The Cardinals looked reborn this year in Chris Mack’s first year as coach. Louisville shown they are capable of great efforts when the lights were bright, like when they beat Michigan State in non-conference play and their 21 point road beatdown of North Carolina. Mack, the former Xavier coach, has done an excellent job, and this Louisville team is the perfect sleeper squad who could make a deep NCAA Tournament run. The Cardinal’s defense is their strongest quality, and they’ll be facing a Minnesota team that can’t shoot to save their lives and often goes on scoring droughts.
The Cardinals are 10-3-1 ATS in their last 14 games versus the Big Ten, and I see t them covering the spread in more than 60 percent of simulations. Minnesota has lost eight of its past 13 games and just got humiliated by Michigan in the Big Ten tourney. Lay the points.