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We’ve seen No.12 seeds have success in NCAA tournaments over the course of the last two decades. The Oregon Ducks are a testament to that in 2013, making it through to the Sweet 16. But they run into a roadblock that is the No.1 overall seed in the tournament on Friday night, when they take on the Louisville Cardinals in Midwest Regional action beginning at 7:15pm ET (CBS). The winner advances to the Regional final, where they will face the winner of Duke/Michigan St (3/29 9:45pm ET).
Beginning with the Ducks, their run through the first two games of the NCAA tournament has been impressive, dispatching of a No.5 seed and a No.4 seed. But perhaps Oregon was a bit underseeded from the get-go. The Ducks are the No.12 seed in the Midwest, even though they were ranked at various points in the year, and not to mention the fact that they won the Pac 12 conference tournament. After knocking off Oklahoma State in the second round, Oregon then defeated a tough Saint Louis team rather easily, 74-57.
The Ducks shot 53 percent against the Billikens over the weekend, including a whopping 73 percent from the three-point line. That will turn into a lot of wins if they continue to shoot the ball like that. Defensively they also limited Saint Louis to just 37 percent from the floor.
Louisville will be a more much difficult matchup though, with ton of talent and a swarming defense that forces a lot of turnovers. After setting an NCAA Tournament record for turnovers in their opener, the Cardinals forced No.9 seed Colorado State to their highest turnover margin of the entire season, with 20.
Louisville cruised to an 82-56 victory over the Rams, making the first two games in the NCAA tournament for the No.1 seed overall quite easy. Though Oregon is certainly playing it’s best basketball of the season. The key looks to be turnovers, as with most Louisville games. The Cardinals have a knack for forcing bad decision making and turnovers to get a team out of rhythm. For the Ducks to have a chance in this one, it will come down to protecting the ball, and turning it into a half court game versus a game of transition.
This game line here isn’t the largest of the Sweet 16 matchups, that belongs to Florida and Florida Gulf Coast. But LatestBettingOdds found that it is the second-largest, with Louisville set as a 9.5-point favorite over Oregon to advance to the Elite 8. The Cardinals have covered in both of their first two games, and to cover in this one they will need a double-digit victory. The Ducks are getting nine points to play with for you bettors looking at the underdog in this one. For the moneyline, Louisville is a -530 ($5.30 wins $1) to win the game outright. Oregon sits at +425 ($1 wins $4.25). The over/under has been set at 129 points total.
For even more in depth analysis, check out our matchup tool below that will give you all the info you want to know about recent trends for both the Cardinals and Ducks.
(12) Oregon Ducks vs. (1) Louisville Cardinals – Matchup (scroll to see more info)
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