The top-seeded Louisville Cardinals will get their March Madness underway on Thursday night in Lexington as they take on the No. 16 North Carolina A&T Aggies - who are already 1-0 in the NCAA Tournament.
The Aggies won their play-in game against Liberty on Tuesday night, getting past them 73-72 in Dayton but failing to cover the 3.5-point spread on the college basketball betting lines at the sportsbooks. Louisville went 4-0-1 ATS at the Big Dance last year.
This season, the Cardinals are 29-5 overall and 20-13-1 ATS ATS, while the Aggies are 20-16 and 7-1 ATS against the number. As for the totals, Louisville boasts a 15-16 on the OU, and North Carolina A&T is 3-3.
Power Rankings / Prediction:
It's a betting matchup between the No. 1-rated Cardinals and the No. 137-ranked Aggies, according to the latest pro hoops power rankings here at Odds Shark. Prediction formulas run on this game indicate a possible 79-65 result in favor of the Cardinals.
How They Match Up:
Offensively, the game matches up Louisville's No. 42 nationally ranked offense (73.6 points per game) against a Aggies defense that sits as the No. 50 at 61.4 PPG. The Cardinals have been averaging 44.5% from the field, more than the Aggies have managed so far this season (40.2% on average).
Defensively, North Carolina A&T features the nation's No. 53-rated defense on the road, allowing 64 points per game. Louisville, meanwhile, comes in at No. 71 nationally in scoring at home.
North Carolina A&T was a 73-72 winner in their most recent outing at home against Liberty. They failed to cover the 3-point spread as favorites. The Flames endured a 73-72 loss at the hands of the Aggies on Tuesday, despite a 22-point effort from Davon Marshall at Dayton Arena.
Louisville was a 78-61 winner in their most recent outing at home against Syracuse. They covered the 5.5-point spread as favorites. Louisville earned a 78-61 victory over Syracuse on Saturday, getting 20 points from Montrezl Harrell at Madison Square Garden.