Fargo's CBB FINAL 4 ANNIHILATOR (2-0 LAST WEEKEND): The NCAA basketball season is nearing its end but Matt still has work to be done! It has been a SPECTACULAR season in CBB and Matt enters the Final Four after a PERFECT 2-0 Big Dance showing last weekend! He has TWO Winners for this weekend as well including his Supreme Annihilator that will be nothing short of a B-L-O-W-O-U-T!
Game: Louisville at Kentucky Mar 31 2012 6:05PM
Grade: Loser (-110)
Reason: As tempting as these points look, they won't be enough for Louisville to cover against Kentucky, let alone win it outright. The Cardinals have put a very strong run together, similar to that of Connecticut from last season as they won four games in four days to capture the Big East Tournament Championship and since then have won four more games to get to the Final Four. As good as it has been, the end of the road comes on Saturday against the best team in the country playing its best basketball. Losing to Vanderbilt in the SEC Tournament Championship was probably the best thing that could have happened to Kentucky as it was its first loss in 24 games since that buzzer-beater in Indiana. Losing can humble a team and make it stronger and the Wildcats have seemed to have done that as they haven't been tested so far in the NCAA Tournament. No they didn't cover against Western Kentucky but that was just a coast and they had to pull away from Indiana late but they are clearly dominating right now. These teams met back on New Year's Eve with Kentucky prevailing by seven points. The Wildcats had an opportunity to blow the Cardinals away but they allowed Louisville to make a late first half run to get the game close but Kentucky eventually pulled away again in the second half. The Wildcats actually led by 13 points with 10 seconds left but a couple of improbable three-pointers from Louisville made the game closer than it should have been and actually played a part in the cover. The scary part is that Kentucky shot just 29.8 percent from the floor including 18.8 percent from long range and still won the game decisively so imagine what will happen if it is even just average in this game. That is a scary thought. A lot of that poor offensive effort was because of Louisville's defense as it is one of the best in the nation. Holding the Wildcats down for a second time will be a challenge as they came into the tournament with the number two adjusted offensive efficiency rating. While Louisville is well known for its defense, Kentucky is not far behind. The Cardinals are second in adjusted defensive efficiency while the Wildcats come in fifth in that category so they know how to shut down teams just as well. The difference between the two is that while Kentucky brings in a very efficient offense against the Louisville defense, the same cannot be said the other way. The Cardinals are just 122nd in adjusted offensive efficiency which is a huge variance based on everything else. While Louisville was able to claw back into the game in the first meeting, it was not able to do so late and it will not be able to do so here should it fall behind early which I expect to happen. There were 51 fouls called in that first meeting which eliminated any sort of game flow and as long as the referees swallow their whistles even a little bit, any sort of sustained game floe heavily favors Kentucky. With all of the debate following the Ohio St./Syracuse game being dictated by officials, expect the refs to let them play here. Because of Louisville's offensive issues, rebounding will play a big part and Kentucky heavily has the edge there. The Wildcats have an offensive rebounding percentage of 38 percent while the Cardinals are outside the top 200 in defensive rebounding. While Louisville has an edge in its offensive rebounding over Kentucky's defensive rebounding, it is not very big. It is pretty obvious Kentucky is on a mission and a big lead will get even bigger as John Calipari isn't afraid to run it up on Rick Pitino. 9* (818) Kentucky Wildcats