The Louisville Cardinals take to the court for the first time in college basketball betting action here at the Big East Tournament, and they’ll take on the Villanova Wildcats in the third of the four quarterfinals games on Thursday night.
Villanova has done its job, and it really should be in the NCAA Tournament at this point. Very few have the Wildcats even thinking about being out of the mix, but even the biggest of doubters would have no choice but to accept their inclusion to the field of 68 regardless of what else happens or how much the bubble shrinks. It wasn’t a pretty night on Wednesday, but Head Coach Jay Wright isn’t going to mind. Wins are wins in the Big East Tournament regardless of how you get them, and though the St. John’s Red Storm put up a fight for a bit of time, the end result was really never in all that much doubt in the second half. The offense was substandard, but the defense was solid, albeit against a team that really has just fallen apart in the dying days of the season. Keep an eye on F Mouphtaou Yarou, who had a nice game, shooting 9-of-10 from the floor, scoring a total of 18 points and bringing down seven boards in the win over the Johnnies. He’ll have his hands full dealing with some of the Louisville bigs on Thursday, but he is one of the experienced leaders of this team.
The Cardinals are going to be out looking for some redemption for the 73-64 loss that they suffered in the City of Brotherly Love against these very same Wildcats, but it’s going to be tough to get this ‘W’. The Cards have won seven in a row and have covered four in a row, and they have the weight of the world on their shoulders. They are expected to be competing for a spot on the No. 1 line in the NCAA Tournament when push comes to shove, and they are the favorites here at MSG in spite of the fact that they weren’t necessarily always the best team in the conference all season long. The talent is here to make a deep run at MSG if Louisville really cares about making it. G Russ Smith can be either insanely good or insanely bad. G Peyton Siva remains a lethal weapon. C Gorgui Dieng is still one of the toughest men to match up with in the nation.
Though we aren’t sold that Louisville is absolutely going to win this conference tournament, we do see the potential there for a great run. Villanova had its day against St. John’s, and we think now that that is over with and a bid to the dance should be sealed, it is going to bow out of the Big East Tourney and get ready for March Madness. Louisville 69 – Villanova 60
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.