#13 Cincinnati vs. #12 Louisville

The best college basketball game of Thursday night is the #13 ranked Cincinnati Bearcats traveling to Louisville to face the #12 ranked Cardinals.

 

cincinnati vs louisvilleCincinnati @ Louisville Preview

The 19-2 Bearcats are coming off 80-76 win over the Temple Owls. The 17-3 Cardinals are coming off a 86-47 win over the South Florida Bulls.

The Bearcats are lead by seniors Sean Kilpatrick and Justin Jackson. Kilpartick is averaging 19.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Jackson is averaging 11.1 points, 7 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.8 steals and 3.4 blocks per game.

The Cardinals are lead by senior Russ Smith and sophomore Montrezl Harrell. Smith is averaging 18.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.9 steals per game. Harrell is averaging 12.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.2 blocks per game.

 

Game Time: 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN

 

Key Injuries

For Cincinnati:

Justin Jackson questionable (sprained ankle), Jermaine Lawrence out (toe), Deshaun Morman out (foot surgery).

For Louisville:

Chris Jones probable (strained oblique), Kevin Ware out (bruised right shin).

 

How Cincinnati Wins

The Bearcats need to play solid defense in order to get the win. Cincinnati is ranked 4th in the nation in scoring defense as they only give up an average of 56.9 points per game. They also need to keep forcing turnovers and are currently averaging 9 steals per game as a team. As a team they are also averaging 6.3 blocks per game with ranks 11th in the nation. The Bearcats are a great defensive team but an average offensive team. In order to get the win they will need to score more then 71 points to beat a high scoring Louisville team.

 

How Louisville Wins

The Cardinals need to find a way to score against Cincinnati’s tough defense. The Cardinals are averaging 83.2 points per game and that ranks 10th in the nation. They also have one of the best defenses in the country as they rank 18th in the country in opponent scoring with only 61.8 points. Louisville also gets 10 steals per game with ranks 3rd in the nation. As a team they are also averaging 5 blocks per game. So in order for Louisville to get the win they will need to find a way to put up points on one of the best defenses in the country.

 

My Prediction

The Bearcats are going to try and make this a defensive game and not let Louisville put up a lot of points. Louisville will want to make this an offensive game with higher scoring. Whichever team plays to their style will have the best shot in winning the game.

I think the game will be close as the Bearcats play great defense to keep them in the game. However I think the Cardinals offense is just to good and they start to pull away late in the game to get the win.

Final Score

Louisville: 87
Cincinnati: 79

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