Big East Tournament: Seton Hall vs. Louisville Free Pick/Preview
NCAA Basketball Spread: Off
Seton Hall is probably on the outside of the NCAA Tournament bubble right now, but if they could find a way to beat the Louisville Cardinals Wednesday night they could probably find their way into the bracket. Louisville is the number seven seed in the Big East tournament, while Seton Hall comes in as the number ten seed. Let’s take a look at this matchup.
Seton Hall absolutely wiped the floor with Providence last night. Strangely enough Seton Hall actually trailed 9-0 in the opening minutes before really kicking it into gear. The Pirates won 79-47 over a Providence team that had beaten some solid teams this year. Jordan Theodore had 13 points and 13 assists in the win. Freshman Brandon Mobley scored a career-high 16 points off the bench as well.
Herb Pope averages 15.5 points and 10.3 rebounds per game for Seton Hall. Pope is a big man who can play in the post or step out and knock down the three-point shot. The Pirates will need a big effort out of him in this matchup. Fuquan Edwin and Jordan Theodore are both great in the backcourt. Theodore is a play maker who takes great care of the ball, while Edwin averages 6.4 rebounds from his guard spot. Seton Hall gives up 64.1 points per game on the defensive end.
Louisville’s strength is their half court defense. The Cardinals have a great shot blocker in the middle in Gorgui Dieng. Dieng averages 3.2 blocks per contest. Louisville allows opponents to shoot just 37.9% from the floor. On the perimeter, the Cardinals are extremely athletic and they are quick to contest shots. Louisville allows just 62 points per game.
Offensively, Louisville has been less than stellar this year. As a team they shoot only 42% from the floor. There are even worse from beyond the arc, where they shoot just 31%. Kyle Kuric is the team’s leading scorer at 12.9 points per game. Kuric is a guard who does things unconventionally, but he can be very effective when he gets it going. Chris Smith and Russ Smith share time in the backcourt as well. Russ is the better athlete, while Chris is the team’s best outside shooter. Peyton Siva isn’t a scorer, but he does a nice job setting up his team from the point guard spot. Chane Behanan is a freshman with tons of potential in the frontcourt.
Seton Hall has more to play for here, but the Pirates have been very inconsistent this year. I like Louisville’s solid defense to get the job done.
Prediction: Louisville 71 Seton Hall 61