Manhattan Jaspers vs. Louisville Cardinals
The Louisville Cardinals and the Manhattan Jaspers face off on Thursday in Orlando is a first round game in the Midwest Regional of the NCAA Tournament. The Cardinals are -14.5 point favorites over the Jaspers with an over/under point total set at 146.5.
The Louisville Cardinals are the defending National Champions and won the AAC regular season title as well as the conference tournament but all of that was only good enough to be a four seed in the NCAA Tournament. Louisville is 11-2 in non-conference games and 4-1 in neutral site games this season. Russ Smith leads the Cardinals averaging 18.3 points per game. Montrezl Harrell is averaging 14.2 points and 8.2 rebounds, Luke Hancock is averaging 11.7 points, and Chris Jones is averaging 10.3 points. Louisville is averaging 82.1 points and they are shooting 47.4 percent while defensively they are allowing 61 points and their opponents are shooting 39.4 percent. Louisville ended the season the fifth ranked team in the nation.
The Manhattan Jaspers won 11 of their last 12 games and while finishing in second place in the MAAC they won the conference tournament landing them in this spot. Manhattan was 7-2 out of conference, 4-0 in neutral site games, but they didn’t play any team ranked in the top 25. George Beamon leads the Jaspers averaging 19.2 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. Michael Alvarado is averaging 12 points, Rhamel Brown is averaging 10.1 points and 6.0 rebounds, and Emmy Andujar and Shane Richards each average 8.5 points per game. Manhattan is averaging 77.4 points and they are shooting 45.1 percent while defensively they are allowing 70 points and their opponents are shooting 41 percent. Manhattan Coach Steve Masiello has worked as an assistant under Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino at both Kentucky and Louisville.
Louisville is 9-2 against the spread in their last 11 NCAA Tournament games, 21-6 against the spread in their last 27 neutral site games, and 17-7 against the spread in their last 24 non-conference games. Manhattan is 6-1 against the spread in their last seven neutral site games, 4-1 against the spread following a game that they covered the point spread, and 6-2 against the spread following a win.
The total is sky high at 146.5 but I have to believe we still see and over in this one.