No. 7 Louisville Cardinals (21-5) at Georgetown Hoyas (14-11)
McDonough Arena, Washington D.C., 7:00PM Eastern, Monday
By Jay Horne of Predictem.com
The No. 7 Louisville Cardinals are among four teams tied for first place in the Big East and they will take to the road and head to the nations capitol to take on the Georgetown Hoyas. Louisville comes into the contest fresh off 72-63 victory over Cincinnati on Saturday. Georgetown on the other hand has really been struggling losing 8 of their last 10 games and dropping to a dismal 5-9 in conference play. The Hoyas gave a great effort Saturdays loss to Marquette only to fall short 78-72. Georgetown is hungry for a win and they will likely give one of their best efforts on Monday night to take down the number 7 team in the nation.
The Hoyas were thought to be one of the premier teams in the conference heading into the season and appeared to carry that title with a strong 10-1 start. However, Georgetown has underachieved time and time again in the latter part of the season. The Hoyas will be trying to make up for those dismal performances on Monday night in their biggest game left on the schedule.
Georgetown has averaged 72 points per game this season. While that point total does not sound very bad, it ranks in the bottom half of the Big East. Georgetown main problem has been their inside game against the glass. The Hoyas have only averaged 33 rebounds per game this season ranking 231st in the country. The Hoyas will either have to knock down everything from the floor on Monday night, or come up with a way to grab some more 2nd chances off the glass.
Louisville has averaged 74 points per game this season which ranks about right in the middle of the conference. However, the Cardinals have played really strong on the defensive side of the court all season and that has been a big contributor to their success. Louisville ranks 2nd in the conference in scoring defense holding teams to 61.7 points per game which also ranks them inside the top 40 teams in the country. The Cardinals have rattled off 3 straight wins since their embarrassing loss to Notre Dame and they will attempt to keep the Big East regular season title hopes alive on Monday night by capturing a tough road win.
The sportsbooks have the betting line favoring the No. 7 ranked Louisville Cardinals by a single point in Monday nights anticipated match-up with the Hoyas. The over/under for the contest is stable at the 131 mark for the feature event as well.
Georgetown will come into the event led by junior forward DaJuan Summers who is posting 14 points per game. Another player who could make a big difference for the Hoyas will be freshmen center Greg Monroe. Monroe could be one of the best centers in the country with a year or two of developing, but Georgetown will need him to step up soon on Monday night. Monroe stands tall at 611averaging 7 rebounds per game along with 13 points as well. Monroe has posted two double-doubles in the last 3 games and he could be a big difference if he could have a big night.
Louisville has been led by a trio of strong players all season who are averaging 12-13 points per game. Earl Clark leads the team with 13 points per game while adding nearly 9 rebounds for one of the best rebounding teams in the country. Terrence Williams has very similar numbers with 12.6 points per game and 8 rebounds per contest. Together Williams and Clark are one of the strongest rebounding duos in the Big East. Samardo Samuels is the third candidate of the strong trio who is posting 12 points per game. Louisville will look to these 3 players first and foremost to lead them to a big win on Monday night.
The Cardinals have been one of the better teams in the country against the books this season with a 17-10 mark ATS. The Cardinals have also won 4 of the last 5 ATS and 2-1 ATS in their last 3 games with Georgetown. The Hoyas have dropped 4 of their last 6 games ATS, but are 2-1 SU against Louisville in the last 3 games.
Jays Pick: Over 131