The number 8 ranked California Golden Bears will collide with the 9th ranked Louisville Cardinals at 9:45 PM ET from Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, FLA. The Golden Bears were looking very solid coming into this tournament until they lost in the PAC-10 Championship to Washington. Before that loss, the Golden Bears had won six consecutive games, and were 9-2 in their last 11 overall. This will be California’s 6th neutral site game of the season, where they are 2-3 so far this season. For the Louisville Cardinals, this will be their 3rd neutral site game of the year as they have gone 1-1 in the previous 2. The 9th ranked Cardinals and the 8th ranked Golden Bears have similar scoring numbers on the season. The Cardinals average 76.3 points per game on offense, compared to California’s 78 points per game. On defense, the Cardinals give up an average 69.6 points against per game, while the Golden Bears average 68.4 points against per game. The Cardinals don’t exactly come into this tournament hot, as a loss to Cincinnati early in the Big East Conference Tournament dropped Louisville to 3-3 in their last 6 games overall. The loss to Cincinnati was due to the Cardinals lack of effort in the rebounding game, and they will need to flex a little more muscle if they have any hopes of moving into the 2nd round of this tournament.
California vs. Louisville Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
California +1 (-115)
vs. Louisville -1 (-105)
Over 149 (-110)
Under 149 (-110)
California vs. Louisville Betting Predictions:
Spread/Line Predictions – Take the Louisville Cardinals to cover the 1 point spread tonight from Florida. The matchup of Big East vs. PAC-10 works in favor of the Cardinals from the Big East. The Cardinals are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. the PAC-10, while the Golden Bears are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games vs. the Big East. Louisville also plays well as an underdog, going 4-1 ATS in their last 5 as the underdog. CAL is also 1-4 ATS in their last 5 NCAA Tournament games. Like the spread suggests, I expect a close game with the Cardinals prevailing, covering the small spread.
Over/Under Prediction – Take the OVER 149 total points in this first round matchup. OVER is 6-1 in the Cardinals last 7 non-Conference games, as well as 7-3 in the Golden Bears last 10 games overall. The OVER is 4-1 in Louisville’s last 5 games vs. the PAC-10, and 19-7 in the Golden Bears last 26 neutral site games. Look for a high scoring game tonight between these two tightly matched teams.