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Davidson vs. Louisville West Region Gambling Free Picks & Preview

West Bracket – Wildcats vs Cardinals Handicapping Pick

The fourth-seeded Cardinals have been ousted from the NCAA kingdom in a quick-one-and-done in each of the past two seasons, and will now aim to change all of that when they meet up with 13th-seeded Davidson in the West Regional on Thursday afternoon in Rip City.

No. 4 Louisville vs. No. 13 Davidson
Date/Time: 1:40 PM ET, Thursday, March 15, 2012
Venue: Rose Garden, Portland, Oregon
Broadcast: TBS
Spread: Louisville -7.5
Over/Under: 138.5

Matchup | Preview

However, in a scary resemblance to last year’s squad that was upset by Morehead State in the first round, Louisville, although strong defensively, still shows many signs of weaknesses on the offensive side of the rock.

To make matters worse, nobody has really stepped up to fill the huge void left by the departure of Preston Knowles. But that somehow hasn’t seemed to keep the Cardinals from winning games, including snatching this year’s East tournament championship.

The go-to player this season has been Kyle Kuric. He’s scoring almost 13 a night, while grabbing four rebounds per game.

But he is still a long way from being Knowles, and will rely on the help from Peyton Siva, Russ Smith and Chris Smith, all who can score a bit themselves.

On the defensive end is where the Cardinals win games though, and with Rick Pitino’s patented full court pressure defense, the Cardinals hold the opposition to 62 points a night on 37 percent shooting while forcing a lot of turnovers. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

That kind of press is going to be tough for the Davidson Wildcats who just four years ago went on a magical run to the Elite Eight before being knocked out by Kansas, which eventually went on to win the national championship.

Setting up a repeat this year, the Cat’s took the Southern regular season and conference tournaments championships just like they did in 2008, and led by sophomore forward De’Mon Brooks, will look to upset everyone in their path on the way back to prominence.

And while Brooks leads the team with 16 points and six rebounds a night, the real story behind the Wildcat’s success in 2011, is the fact that every starter averages double figures.

Also don’t overlook that they played Vanderbilt tough, and actually beat Kansas back in December, so another miracle run is not completely impossible.

Prediction- Louisville – A leader is going to have to emerge for them offensively in order to make a serious run, and I think Kuric will be that missing link. While this game does have upset written all over it, it’s hard to bet against Pitino and company.

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