No. 2 Louisville vs. No. 15 Jacksonville State Prediction, Game Preview

    Louisville vs. Jacksonville State prediction and game preview, as the No. 2 Cardinals and No. 15 Gamecocks face off in the NCAA Tournament.

    March 13, 2017

    Louisville vs. Jacksonville State prediction and game preview, as the No. 2 Cardinals and No. 15 Gamecocks face off in the NCAA Tournament.

    Rick Pitino’s Cardinals are back in the NCAA Tournament, and they’re sporting a 24-8 record. They were awarded the No. 2 seed in the Midwest region, and they’ll be taking on Jacksonville State in the Round of 64.

    The Gamecocks enter this matchup with a 20-14 record, which was just good enough to warrant a No. 15 seed in the tourney after becoming the first team to secure a bid to the Big Dance by winning the OVC Tournament.

    Below is a complete preview and prediction for Louisville vs. Jacksonville State.

    Louisville vs. Jacksonville State Game Preview

    Date: March 17, 2017
    Venue:  Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Ind.

    Louisville Strengths

    Star guard Donovan Mitchell has had a breakout season for the Cardinals, leading the team in scoring, steals, three-pointers and minutes played. The all-ACC First Team performer has seen his shooting percentage go slightly down from last season, but he has improved his accuracy from long range. He can carry this team to the Final Four. As can the team’s defense. Mitchell is an all-defensive team member, and he spearheads a ‘D’ that can give opponents fits.

    Louisville Weaknesses

    The Cardinals are tied for 12th with Florida State in free-throw percentage, connecting on just 68.9 percent of their attempts from the charity stripe. Losing games at the free throw line is one of the most frustrating endeavors for a team, especially when shots aren’t going down from the field. This is an area of concern for Rick Pitino’s squad.

    Louisville Cardinals In-Depth Analysis

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    Jacksonville State Strengths

    First-year head coach Ray Harper and the Gamecocks were predicted by many prognosticators to struggle in the Ohio Valley Conference this season, but they became the first team to punch their ticket for the 2017 NCAA Tournament. And they will hear their name called on Selection Sunday for the first time in program history. It’s a guard-oriented offensive attack led by seniors Erik Durham and Greg Tucker as well as junior Malcolm Drumwright.

    Jacksonville State Weaknesses

    Outside of Norbertas Giga, the Gamecocks don’t have a dominant inside presence. Freshman Jacara Cross remains an intriguing player because of his size and athleticism, but his youth and inexperience has held him back a bit in his first year. So he was unable to give the Gamecocks a consistent interior presence.

    Jacksonville State Gamecocks In-Depth Analysis

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    Louisville vs. Jacksonville State By The Numbers

    Louisville Statistics

    Scoring Margin: 12.2 (15th nationally)
    Rebounding Margin: 5.8 (27)
    Turnover Margin: 2.6 (33)
    3-Point FG Percentage: 36.4% (115)

    Jacksonville State Statistics

    Scoring Margin: 2.1 (159)
    Rebounding Margin: 4.1 (58)
    Turnover Margin: -2.6 (323)
    3-Point FG Percentage: 37.2% (70)

    Louisville vs. Jacksonville State Prediction

    If you’re looking for an upset pick, keep moving, people. You won’t find it here. The Cardinals will easily handle the Gamecocks. Donovan Mitchell will go off from behind the arc and will lead Louisville in scoring to send his team to the next round.

    Louisville vs. Jacksonville State Score Prediction: Louisville 93, Jacksonville State 71

    MORE: Complete NCAA Tournament Bracket, Previews, Predictions


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