March Madness Expert Picks: Minnesota vs. Louisville
The first round of the NCAA tournament gets underway on Thursday, and our series of Top Picks for
March Madness 2019 has you covered. The first game of the day to tip off is an East Region matchup
from the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, IA.
The #10 seed Minnesota Golden Gophers will face off with the #7 Golden Gophers. These two
programs had similar success during the regular season, but NCAA Tournament Spreads have the
Cardinals as 5-point favorites. Will we have our first March Madness Upset Pick right off the bat?
Date/Time/TV: Thur. March 21, 12:15 PM EST, CBS
Spread: Louisville Cardinals -5 (-110)
The Golden Gophers picked up wins over Penn State and Purdue in the Big Ten tournament, but they
were clobbered by Michigan in the semifinal by a score of 76-49. For the season, Minnesota is 21-13
The Cardinals handled business versus Notre Dame in the ACC tournament, but they got bounced by
North Carolina in the quarterfinal round by a score of 83-70. The club is 20-13 (17-14-2 ATS) on the
Minnesota Golden Gophers
Minnesota struggled in Big Ten play this season with a mark of 9-11. That left them seven games
behind conference leaders Michigan State and Purdue. Over the last 10 games, the Golden Gophers
are 5-5 (6-4 ATS).
Team totals are 15-18-1 on the season with the Over coming in for two of the last three. Amir Coffey
leads the way on offense with averages of 16.3 ppg and 3.2 apg. Jordan Murphy is next up with 14.8
ppg and 11.5 boards. Coffey was the leading scorer versus Michigan with 14 points.
Louisville had a disappointing regular season in the loaded ACC conference. The team finished up
with a mark of 10-8, which left them six games behind co-leaders Virginia and North Carolina. Over
the last 10, Louisville is just 3-7 (4-6 ATS).
Totals have been Over for two of the last three and stand at 14-19 on the year. Jordan Nwora is the
team’s top threat. He’s averaging 17.2 ppg and 7.5 rpg. Dwayne Sutton is next up with averages of
10.2 ppg and 6.9 boards. Malik Williams led the way versus North Carolina with 19 points.
Minnesota vs. Louisville Prediction
This will be the first meeting of these programs since 2014. Louisville was a 9.5-point road favorite
for that one, and they walked away with an 81-68 victory. Minnesota was last in the tournament in
2017, losing in the first round to Middle Tennessee State. Louisville’s last appearance came the same
year when they lost to Michigan in round two.
The Cardinals are the better team on paper, but they simply haven’t lived up to expectations this year.
We expect them to win and advance, but we’re looking for Minnesota to at least keep it close and
Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Louisville Cardinals Pick: Minnesota +5 (-110)