NCAA Tournament round of 64 betting preview

Ruben Hill
March 24, 2019

For one, first-year coach Chris Mack arrived in Louisville after building an impressive résumé at Xavier.

His son, Richard Pitino, is the current head coach of the Golden Gophers.

But the Cardinals adopted a motto of sorts - "working hard and being tough" - and they have done just enough of both to get back to the NCAA Tournament after a turmoil-filled season in 2017-18.

Lousville's best win this season came against North Carolina, the ACC co-champions, 83-62 in Chapel Hill, N.C., on January 12. To be fair, two of those losses came against 2nd ranked Virginia, but another one of them came against lowly Boston College.

As you know, Minnesota is coached by Richard Pitino. "They've had some moments".

The Cardinals stunned Michigan State 82-78 in overtime early in the season. The Spartans, who throttled the Gophers 79-55 on February 9, went on to win a share of the Big Ten regular-season title and then won the conference tournament, too.

The Cards are in the East Region and will take on No. 10 seed Minnesota.

Louisville is coming off an 83-70 loss to North Carolina in the ACC Tournament and the Cardinals have lost seven of their last 10 games entering March Madness.

Players to watch: Gophers junior guard Amir Coffey saw his streak of 20-point games end at five in a row after he scored 14 on 7-for-12 shooting in Saturday's 76-49 loss to MI in the Big Ten tournament semifinals.

Minnesota managed to make the field of 68 despite an up and down season which saw them beat Purdue twice, along with losses to Big Ten basement teams in Rutgers and Nebraska.

Louisville, behind Cunningham, an improved Dwayne Sutton and a breakout season from sophomore Jordan Nwora (17.2 points per game), didn't waste time, either.

Forward Jordan Murphy has been the MVP for the Gophers so far this season, pouring in 14.8 points and a team-high 11.5 rebounds per game. Both teams won't be afraid to pick up the pace on Thursday, and the team that shoots better from deep will likely be the victor. The public betting now has 57 percent going on Louisville as the favorite. The spread moved to 5K points by Tuesday.

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