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North Carolina A&T Aggies vs. Louisville Cardinals NCAA Basketball Preview & Free Pick

Midwest Region: Aggies vs Cardinals

The North Carolina A&T Aggies picked up a nice 73-72 win over Liberty in the Opening Round Game Tuesday in Dayton, but things will get a whole lot tougher for the Aggies on Thursday evening.

2013 NCAA Tournament Preview
Midwest Region
#16- North Carolina A&T Aggies (20-16) vs. #1- Louisville Cardinals (29-5)
Date/Time: March 21, 2013- 6:50 pm EST
TV: TBS
NCAA Basketball Betting Odds from BetDSI
Favorite: Louisville -26
Total: 123.5

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They will take on the number one overall seed- Louisville Cardinals.

Louisville has won ten straight games, and they are really rolling right into March Madness.

North Carolina A&T

North Carolina A&T plays in the MEAC, where the competition isn’t exactly stiff.

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The Aggies scheduled up in their non-conference slate, which was definitely good for the team. The problem is this Aggies team didn’t have any success in those games against top teams. They were beaten 86-57 by Iowa State, and the Cincinnati Bearcats humiliated them 93-39.

You’d like to think that the team has improved a lot since that loss in December, but they haven’t played any top teams of late for us to gauge their level of improvement.

Jeremy Underwood scored 19 points to lead the Aggies to their victory on Tuesday. He normally only scored 6.5 points per game. Lamont Middleton and Adrian Powell are the team’s leading scorers at 12.4 points per game this season. North Carolina A&T has had trouble scoring all year.

Offensively, they shoot just 40 percent as a team. Defensively, the Aggies allow opponents to shoot just 38.3 percent.

They’ll need to bring their best defensive effort in this one.

Louisville

Louisville is red hot at the right time of the year. After a terrible first half in the Big East Tournament final, the Cardinals outscored Syracuse 56-26 in a very impressive second half display. Russ Smith leads the team in scoring at 18.1 points per game. Peyton Siva is the perfect point guard for Rick Pitino offense. Siva isn’t a scorer by nature, but he is great at setting up his teammates, and he is a great floor general. [ad-6571516]

Chane Behanan is a much better power forward than most realize, and he could take over at any point. Louisville averages 73.6 points per game.

The Cardinals offense isn’t bad, but it really is their defense that makes this team elite. Louisville has the athleticism to work Rick Pitino’s full court pressure beautifully. The Cardinals then get a lot of easy buckets in transition. Importantly, this team doesn’t have to press to be very good on the defensive end. Having a dominant big man at the back of the defense like Gorgui Dieng makes them great in the half court as well.

Dieng averages 2.5 blocks per game, and he is a game changer at the back of the defense. Opponents average just 58 points per game against Louisville.

Free Pick: Louisville -26

This is a really big number, but it is a huge number for a reason. Louisville could beat North Carolina A&T by 40-50 if they really wanted, but I expect somewhere around a 30 point win.

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