Dave’s Free Play, Saturday 3/22/14
Short and sweet with today’s blog, as I’m watching the MLB season opener between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks as this is being posted. Yes, I’m one of those diehards who adjusted the sleep clock to make sure to be up and alert for the first game of the 2014 campaign. No, I have no action on the game whatsoever. But if there’s baseball to be watched, I’m probably going to be there.
A good Friday at the Big Dance, and a little positive momentum heading into Saturday’s action. Arizona was an aggravating loser, as the Wildcats decided to take the rest of the game off against a decidedly inferior Weber State team after having gone up by 21. But the other three plays all got there, so no complaints.
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The Friday free play came up a basket short as North Carolina won the game, but not by enough to cover the spot as they eliminated a very gritty Providence squad. I’ll got the chalk route for the comp today as well.
03/22 11:45 AM CB (523) SAINT LOUIS (524) LOUISVILLE
Take: (524) LOUISVILLE -9
After obliterating nearly everything in sight down the stretch, Louisville barely escaped with their tournament lives Thursday night against Manhattan. Meanwhile, St. Louis has to feel great about rallying to win in overtime as they eliminated North Carolina State.
I’m not putting much stock into the close call by the Cardinals. They were up against a Manhattan team that showed no fear, and also was very familiar with what Louisville would be running. The game was certainly tougher than most envisioned, but the Jaspers were no fraud.
I’m also not putting a bullet next to the Billikens off the fortunate win. This is a team that has not played well at all of late, and they were basically just plain lucky to survive their NCAA opener. It’s also worth noting that I had made the statement that I did not think NC State belonged in the field of 68, so to me, beating the Wolfpack is not a sudden buy signal.
Louisville has a great chance to create lots of turnovers here. The Billikens have been prone to turnovers lately, and again, one good game from that standpoint against NC State doesn’t mean a whole lot to me. If St. Louis can’t protect the ball, they’re probably going to get run out today.
There’s no question the number on this game is at least cause for hesitation. Even though the underdog has been less than sensational for its last several games, that’s still a load of points. But the flip side is that aside from the struggle against Manhattan, this Cardinals entry has been burying the opposition.
I’m projecting Louisville to get back on track in this hookup. I don’t think St. Louis matches up well with the Cardinals, and over the course of 40 minutes, I’m fully expecting a couple of those patented Louisville runs. Big number or not, I’ve got to side with the favorite minus the points.