Road to March Madness: #1 Virginia Cavaliers (26-2) Vs. Louisville Cardinals (19-10) Game Information
It is the final week of the regular season for many of the teams in college basketball, while the remainder will be starting to play in their conference tournaments. It’s the final shot for every team to get into the tournament, assuming they haven’t done so already. It is also the chance for the top teams to maintain a high ranking so that they might end up with a favorable bracket when March Madness begins in a couple of weeks. With just two games to go in the regular season, the #1 rankings are the Virginia Cavaliers to lose. They have already clinched the regular season title in the ACC, but that will almost certainly not be enough for a team that has its eye on a much larger prize. The first of the final two games for the Cavaliers is set for Wednesday night when they head into Louisville to face a Cardinals team that will also be appearing in the tournament. This is by no means a straightforward game for the #1 ranked team in the nation, so let’s take a closer look.
— Virginia Cavaliers (@VirginiaSports) February 24, 2018
What: #1 Virginia Cavaliers (26-2) Vs. Louisville Cardinals (19-10)
When: Thursday, March 01, 2018, at 7:00 PM CT
Where: KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, Kentucky
The Line: TBA
Why bet on the Virginia Cavaliers
There is a very good reason why the Cavaliers are #1 in the nation, and that is because they have won 18 of their last 19 games. They were very close to being perfect during that stretch, as their lone loss came by a single point to the Virginia Tech Hokies. Since that defeat, they have reeled off 3 straight wins, once again playing a dominating style of defense that has led them to give up an average of just 52.1 PPG. The highlight of their most recent run came in their last game, a 66-37 win over the Pitt Panthers. There is an old adage about defense winning championships, and if that does indeed prove to be the case this season, then you need to lie the Cavaliers to make a very deep run. The Cavaliers have already played the Cardinals this season, coming up with a 74-64 win in that one on the home court.
Why bet on the Louisville Cardinals
The Cardinals have been on a bit of a slide in recent weeks, losing 5 of their last 8 games. They did manage to end last week on a bit of a high note, winning on the road against Virginia Tech. The good news for the Cardinals coming into this one is that they have been money in their own building, going 14-4 SU this season. On the downside, they have had 5 games against ranked opposition thus far and have only managed to come up with a single win. Their most recent game against a ranked opponent came last week when the Cardinals were manhandled by the Duke Blue Devils in an incredibly lopsided 82-56 loss. The Cardinals have gone 14-12-1 ATS this season and 14-11-2 O/U. Louisville needs one win in their final two games if they want to finish the regular season as a 20-win team.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
The Cavaliers won the previous meeting with the Cardinals by 10 points and I think we are looking at more of the same in this one.
Predicted Score: Virginia Cavaliers 70 Louisville Cardinals 62