|Written by Michael|
Bet on NCAABAt 1:40 PM ET in Denver, the NCAA tournament features one of its first real games after the “First Four” when the Louisville Cardinals play the Morehead State Eagles. Louisville is ranked No. 4, while Morehead State is ranked No. 13, and both teams are from Kentucky. This will be the third time these two teams have met in the tournament.
In both of those previous meetings, the Eagles were beat by the Cardinals. The first time was in 1984, and the last time was in 2009. But Morehead State is having a great year so far, with a 24-9 record. They have won twelve of their last thirteen, and came out of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament as champions by overcoming Tennessee Tech.
Morehead State senior Kenneth Faried is the obvious team leader of the Eagles, and Faried is also the all-time leading rebounder in the NCAA. In fact, he recently passed Tim Duncan for that distinction. He is also second for the all-time number of double-doubles, sitting behind Duncan and tied with Ralph Sampson.
Louisville is coming off of their own success in the Big East Tournament, ending second after a loss to the UConn Huskies in the final round. They have a similar season record at 25-9, as well as finishing third in the Big East with a conference record of 12-6. Senior Preston Knowles leads the Cardinals with 15 points per game.
While the Cardinals get about 35% of their points from threes, Morehead State is weak in defense beyond the arc. The Eagles are weak in turnovers, giving up the ball quite a bit but also being strong in stealing the ball. But offensively, they are able to get a lot of second looks, mainly due to Faried's offensive rebounding prowess.
The sportsbook is expecting a Louisville victory, favoring the Cardinals by 9.5 points. The total is set at 131.