Bulls (18-11) vs Cardinals (22-7)
They may not have the better overall record but the South Florida Bulls are ahead of Louisville in the Big East standings this season. They are finally standing up for themselves in the conference and this game has a lot at stake, especially as their seems to be something brewing basketball wise in the state of Florida.
Wednesday February 29
Yum Center – Louisville, KY
Moneyline: No money line currently listed
Spread: Lousiville -7.4
If USF wins they become tied for third and if they lose then the Cardinals join them in a tie for fourth. Both teams are jockeying to try and make it to the double bye the top 4 seeds earn for the Big East tournament.
The Bulls seem to always play tight low scoring games. They aren’t pretty but they are effective with their most recent win, over Cincinnati on the weekend, bumping them up to their current spot. This team is 9th in the country in scoring defense.
Amazingly only one player, Augustus Gilchrist, averages double figures in scoring – he is at an even 10. He is looking to bounceback after scoring just 2 points against the Bearcats. Someone, anyone, has to help him put points on the board.
The Lousiville Cardinals may still have the better record but this year this game is closer than it has probably ever been. Under coach Rick Pitino Louisville prides itself on defense which means that this one will be ugly – just the way both teams like it.
Only twicein the last ten meetings between these two has the number been lower than this so the fact that it is this low with the Cardinals at home show you what people think of the toughness of this South Florida team.
Louisville has to play good defense because this is a team with sporadic offensive talent.
Point guard Peyton Siva can be one of the most frustrating players in the country. He is shooting below 40% for the season (20% from 3) which means teams are laying off him on the perimeter.
Every once in a while he gets frustrated and forces a drive which leads to a lot of turnovers. Preseason many would have thought this would be a blowout but now it is just going to be a slug-fest.
Spread Pick: South Florida +7.5
O/U Pick: Under
Score Prediction: Louisville 55 – South Florida 50