East Region Second Round Betting Preview: #13 UC-Irvine Anteaters vs #4 Louisville Cardinals

2015 NCAA Tournament
East Region – Second Round
#4 Louisville Cardinals vs #13 UC-Irvine Anteaters
KeyArena – Seattle, Washington
Friday, March 20, 2015, 4:10 pm Eastern, TV: TBS
Opening Line: Louisville -9
Current Line: Louisville -8
Opening Total: 124
Current Total: 124
Opening Money Line: Louisville -410 / UC-Irvine +330
Current Money Line: Louisville -460 / UC-Irvine +350

Louisville is a 9 point favorite against UC-Irvine Friday in Seattle.
Louisville is a 9 point favorite against UC-Irvine Friday in Seattle.

The 24-8 Louisville Cardinals and 21-12 California-Irvine Anteaters couldn’t have more different NCAA Tournament histories. UC-Irvine is making their first ever trip to the tournament, while Louisville is making their 41st trip with 3 national titles. The two schools meet for the first time ever Friday in the East region second round in Seattle. The winner will play either #5 seed Northern Iowa or #12 Wyoming in the third round Sunday.

UC-Irvine finished tied for second with UC-Santa Barbara  in the Big West at 11-5, three games behind UC-Davis. The Anteaters beat Hawaii 67-58 in the Big West Championship game last Saturday. UC-Irvine went 0-3 against NCAA Tournament teams this season.

Louisville finished fourth in the ACC at 12-6. Louisville lost to North Carolina 70-60 in the ACC quarterfinals last Thursday. The Cardinals went 4-7 against NCAA Tournament teams this season.

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UC-Irvine is coached by Russell Turner. The Anteaters have road losses at Arizona, St. Mary’s, Fresno State, Morgan State, Oregon, New Mexico State, UC-Riverside, UC-Santa Barbara, and UC-Davis, along with home losses to Texas-Arlington, Long Beach State, and UC-Davis. The Anteaters have won 3 straight games, all in the big West Tournament in Anaheim against UC-Riverside, UC-Santa Barbara, and Hawaii. Irvine also has neutral site wins over Bradley and Green Bay in Las Vegas, home wins over Pacific, Sacramento State, Riverside, Cal Poly, UCSB, Hawaii, CS-Northridge, and CS-Fullerton, plus road wins over Loyola Marymount, Fullerton, Northridge, Hawaii, Long Beach State, and Cal Poly. The Anteaters went 17-11-2 ATS and the total is 7-14-1 this season. UC-Irvine was a 4 point favorite against Hawaii and the total was 134.

Louisville is coached by Rick Pitino. The Cardinals have home losses to Kentucky, Duke, NC State, and Notre Dame, road losses to North Carolina, Virginia, and Syracuse plus a neutral site loss to North Carolina in the ACC Tournament in Greensboro. Louisville has neutral site wins over Minnesota in Puerto Rico and Indiana at Madison Square Garden, home wins over Marshall, Cleveland State, Ohio State, Florida International, CS-Northridge, Long Beach State, Clemson, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Miami, and Virginia, plus road wins over Western Kentucky, Wake Forest, Pitt, Boston College, Miami, Georgia Tech and Florida State. Louisville is 11-18-2 ATS and the total is 12-16 this season. The Cardinals were 2.5 point underdogs against North Carolina and the total was 140.

UC-Irvine is outscoring 68-62 this season. The Anteaters are shooting 46.1% from the field and 39% from 3 point range. UCI is #25 nationally in 3 point shooting. The Anteaters make 68.3% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 39.3% from the field and 34% from 3 point range. The Anteaters are #28 nationally in field goal defense. Irvine averages 35.4 rebounds per game and opponents average 31 per game. UCI averages 14.2 assists, 11.6 turnovers, 5.7 steals and 4 blocks per game. Opponents average 10.8 assists, 11.4 turnovers, 5.8 steals and 2.8 blocks per game.

Will Davis II averages 12.9 points and 7 rebounds per game. Luke Nelson averages 10.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 4 assists per game. Mamadou Ndiaye averages 10.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. The center is 7′-6″ tall and the tallest player in the tournament. Alex Young averages 9.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Travis Souza averages 7.4 points, 3 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. Jaron Martin averages 6.8 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. Five other players average at least 11 minutes per game in the rotation. John Ryan is probable with an ankle injury. Dominique Dunning is out for the season with a knee injury.

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Louisville is outscoring teams 69-60 this season. The Cardinals are #20 nationally in points allowed. Louisville shoots 42.9% from the field and 30.4% from 3 point range. The Cardinls are #312 out of 353 teams in three point shooting nationally. Louisville makes 68.3% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 38.8% from the field and 29.3% from 3 point range. The Cardinals are in the top 20 nationally in both categories. Louisville averages 38.1 rebounds per game and opponents average 33.1 per game. The Cardinals are #22 nationally in rebounds but #303 in rebounds allowed. Louisville averages 11.7 assists, 11.8 turnovers, 8.3 steals and 5.5 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.7 assists 14.5 turnovers, 6 steals and 2.7 blocks per game.

Terry Rozier averages 17.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 2 steals per game. Montrezl Harrell averages 15.7 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1 steal and 1.2 blocks per game. Guard Chris Jones was dismissed from the team earlier in the season. He averaged 13.7 points, 4 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2 steals per game. Wayne Blackshear averages 10.9 points, 4.3 assists, 1.2 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Three other players will also get significant time in the rotation.

UC-Irvine is 5-0 ATS in neutral site games, 4-1 after a straight up win, 15-5-1 against teams with winning records, 5-2 overall and 7-3 in Friday games.

Louisville is 24-9 ATS in neutral site games, 10-4 in NCAA Tournament games, 2-5 against teams with winning records, 2-6 overall, and 0-4-1 in non-conference games.

Louisville hasn’t been the same on offense since Jones was dismissed. It probably won’t matter in this game, but it come into play in the next round or beyond. Louisville pulls out a tough game in a low scoring game.

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