Michigan vs. Louisville Picks
Date/Time: April 8th, 9:23 ET
College Basketball Odds from WagerWeb
Point Spread: Louisville -3.5
Sixty-six of the 68 teams in the NCAA Tournament are now sitting at home on the sidelines, and the only two teams that are left to fight it out for all of the marbles are the Michigan Wolverines and the Louisville Cardinals.
Michigan really has looked like a touched team here in this tournament ever since the very opening round. The Wolverines got here by facing a Murderer’s Row of teams. Knocking off the Kansas Jayhawks was clearly the toughest task of the bunch, and winning that game by getting such huge three-point shots at the tail end of the effort from G Trey Burke was tremendous. Big Blue has proven that it can win games by shooting the daylights out of the basketball when it matters most, and it proved that it could do the job with its defense as well. Four of the five foes that the Big Ten reps have run into here in the NCAA Tournament were held to 59 points or fewer. The lone exception were those Jayhawks, who seemed to literally have everything going for them in the first half of that game before Michigan snuck its way back into it.
The Cardinals really looked the part of the most dominating team in America in the first two weeks of this tournament, but all of a sudden, a Final Four victory over the Wichita State Shockers really doesn’t sit all that well when you think about it. The Shockers were only a No. 9 seed, and though they did win the West Region, they clearly weren’t the most difficult team in the world that anyone has ever beaten here in the Final Four. The Cardinals in fact, needed a 20-point effort from F Luke Hancock off of the bench just to beat the Shockers, who once led in the second half by eight points. The Cardinals didn’t really play stellar defense in that game, and they only hit 22 shots. That being said, they did get the job done, they did score at least 72 points for the sixth straight game, and they did hold a sixth straight foe to 69 points or fewer. It’s tough to argue that Head Coach Rick Pitino doesn’t have the best team in the nation this season.
And that’s why we want Louisville on our side in this one. The Cardinals had won nine straight games by at least eight points before only beating the Shockers by four, and each of their wins on this 15-game winning streak came by at least four points. It’s going to be tough to see how Michigan, even for as well as Big Blue has been playing, can really keep up as long as the Cards are playing their game. Don’t look for Pitino and the gang to take this game lightly. This is the type of game that Louisville wins by 15-20 points. Louisville 76 – Michigan 60