Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Louisville Cardinals
The Cincinnati Bearcats and Louisville Cardinals battle it out on Thursday in Big East college basketball action. The Bearcats are -1.5 point favorites over the Cardinals with an over/under point total set at 130.5.
The Cincinnati Bearcats are thinking they are in the field of 68 for the NCAA Tournament as Mick Cronin’s team has won four of their last five games. Cincinnati is 9-5 in the Big East, 12-4 at home this season, and tied for sixth place in the conference standings. Sean Kilpatrick is averaging 15 points and 5.1 rebounds, Dion Dixon is averaging 13.6 points, Yancy Gates is averaging 12.4 points and 9.2 rebounds, and Cashmere Wright is averaging 10.9 points and 4.6 rebounds. As a team Cincinnati is averaging 70.1 points and they are shooting 42.6 percent while defensively they are allowing 61.5 points and their opponents are shooting 41.5 percent. Cincinnati controls their own destiny at this point but it isn’t an easy road with games at South Florida and at home against Marquette following this one.
The Louisville Cardinals have been playing their best basketball of the season and Rick Pitino’s team looks to be peaking at the right time as they have won seven of their last eight games. Louisville is 9-5 in the Big East, 6-3 on the road this season, and tied for sixth place in the standings. Kyle Kuric is averaging 13.3 points and 4.8 rebounds, Chris Smith is averaging 10.9 points and 4.0 rebounds, and Gorgui Dieng is averaging 10 points and 9.2 rebounds. As a team Louisville is averaging 71.7 points and they are shooting 43. Percent while defensively they are allowing 62.6 points and their opponents are shooting 37.6 percent. The Cardinals are ranked 17th in the country and could be looking at a high seed in March.
Cincinnati is 7-2 against the spread following a game which they didn’t cover, 2-5 against the spread in their last seven games, and 1-5 against the spread in their last six home games. Louisville is 7-1 against the spread in their last eight games overall, 9-3 against the spread in their last 12 road games, and 6-0 against the spread following a win. The road team has covered in five of the last six meetings of these two.
Both of these teams play defense and this should be a fairly close defensive game and my pick is the under.