The ballyhooed Kentucky Wildcats and their slew of NBA prospects have caught fire at just the right time to help your March Madness college basketball betting record.
Now, John Calipari’s young ballclub will face another stiff test when they take on the Rick Pitino’s fourth-seeded defending national champion Louisville Cardinals in an East Regional semifinal showdown that has all the makings for a memorable affair.
This longtime rivalry tips on Friday at 9:40 PM ET .
Why Kentucky Can Win This Midwest Semifinal
The Wildcats will win this game because they have more talent that the Cardinals and because just beat the best team in America in the minds of many – the Wichita State Shockers.
Kentucky has a true superstar in freshman forward Julius Randle and a plethora of other future NBA performers that are simply too talented for most teams to handle. The top-ranked team in most preseason polls has seemingly found their collective stride after playing some wildly inconsistent basketball for much of the regular season. Simply put, the Wildcats now have the look of a team playing with plenty of motivation, not to mention the fact that they beat the Cardinals 73-66 at home on Dec. 28.
Could the Wildcats Go…To The Final Four?
Yes they could!
I thought that if Kentucky got past Wichita State , (my pick to win it all) then they very well could run the table and fulfill the promise that many predicted for them in the preseason. Make no mistake about it – Kentucky has as much, if not more, to play for than any remaining team in the Sweet 16.
Why Louisville Can Win The Midwest Semifinal
Louisville will win this contest because they are confident, well-coached and have a true superstar in point guard Russ Smith – and another not far off that type of status in bruising forward Montrezl Harell. Respected head coach Rick Pitino is 11- 0 in Sweet 16 contests and his Louisville Cardinals are looking for some revenge for their regular season loss to the Wildcats.
Could the Cardinals Go…To The Final Four?
Of course they could…duh!
Seriously though, Louisville just won last season’s NCAA March Madness national championship – and they could do it again, though doing so this time around will apparently be a lot tougher than it was a year ago.
I like the Cardinals to beat the Tennessee-Michigan winner of they get past Kentucky and once they’re in the Final Four, I believe only two teams could take them – either Florida or possibly Michigan State . Outside of that, I believe Louisville ‘s chances of bringing home the hardware are as god or better than anyone else’s.
And the Winner Is…
I like the Kentucky Wildcats to cover the spread with the outright win. I know the Wildcats are very young and have had some inexplicable lapses in judgment this season, but the fact of the matter is that right now, the young Wildcats don’t even remotely resemble the star-studded, but rudderless bunch they were earlier this season.
Now, Kentucky seems to be playing with much more focus and energy than they have all season and have established some sort of offensive pecking order. The ‘Cats can beat you from outside or they can go down low to Randle or seven-footer Willie Cauley-Stein.
More than anything else, Kentucky is playing with a chip on its shoulder the size of Mount Rushmore . Sure, Louisville won’t go away without a fight, but I just don’t think they have the quality depth that Kentucky does – or five future NBA performers for that matter.
Kentucky is -0 ATS in their last five neutral site games and 6-1 ATS in their L/7 March Madness Tournament games and I say they improve on each of those marks by taking down the vaunted defending national champion Louisville Cardinals.