Louisville Basketball ACC Tournament Expectations

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After a ROUGH February and early March for the Cards, in which they went through the gauntlet of schedule. The Cards went a terrible 3-7 with losses to Virginia twice, North Carolina, Duke, Florida St., Syracuse, and Boston College. Those last two should not have happened, and the losses to Duke, Florida St., and one of the losses to Virginia were absolute choke jobs. That being said, there is a lot to be very excited about as a Cards fan. The team has been, although losing, playing pretty well. While they seemed to struggle to finish games off, the team was starting games off really strong. Coach K actually said that UL was one of the most prepared teams they had played all year. 

So, what does that mean about them going into the ACC Tournament?

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Their first game is against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and if you follow us at Soft 7 Sports you know we hate Notre Dame! Just kidding. But not really. Notre Dame was one of the 3 teams Louisville had beaten during that season ending stretch. They won 75-61 at home. I honestly don’t think that this is going to much of a different game. I’ll be doing a full game breakdown tomorrow, but for now, I don’t see any reason why the Cards should struggle in this game.

So, I expect that the Cards would match up with the 2 seed North Carolina Tar Heels in the ACC Semifinals. The Cards and Tar Heels split their season series 1-1. The first game they played, Louisville absolutely bitch slapped them, 83-62, at UNC. The second game, the Tar Heels got their revenge in the KFC Yum! Center, 79-69. As much as I want to say that the Cards can win this game, I don’t see them winning against this UNC team. That North Carolina team is playing really, really strong right now. They are peaking at this time of the year. It may be a close game, but I don’t see anything good about this game for the Cards. It also helps that the ACC Tournament is in Charlotte, North Carolina. If we’re being honest, North Carolina might win the ACC Tournament this year.

So, I think the Louisville Cardinals will be bounced in the Semifinals of the ACC Tournament by the North Carolina Tar Heels. There is a prediction.

-Parmesan Don

@soft7parm

ACC Tournament Second Round Afternoon Game Predictions

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Clemson vs. North Carolina St.

When: 12:00 p.m. ET ESPN

Spread: Clemson -1

Over/Under: 140

In there only prior game this season, Clemson lost to NC St. 69-67 on the road. That game was won on a buzzer beater 3 by Braxton Beverly. While NC St. may have won the game, Clemson clawed back from a first half 6 point deficit, and this is somewhat of a revenge game for them. Both teams have had a pretty hit or miss end of the season; however, the one difference that I can pull from these two teams is that Clemson has actually beaten a good team this year. Clemson beat Virginia Tech in early February 59-51 at home. That Virginia Tech team is actually the team that limited NC St. to the fewest point total in the shot clock era with 24 points. That is something that was uncommon for them, because they were averaging about 84.4 points per game at the time. That being said, neither team really comes into this game with any momentum.

Looking at these teams head to head, this is going to be a defensive heavy game. Clemson is one of the top defensive teams in the country and NC St. isn’t half bad either. It will come down to the offense. NC St. will have to limit Clemson on the offensive glass to have any shot in staying in this game. If they fail to do that then this might be a blow out. Clemson can take over this game by controlling the boards. NC St. will try to keep this a high paced game, but I think Clemson really slows it down and tries to throw off this NC St. team. As a result, Clemson will likely win this game.

Prediction: Clemson 69 – 67 North Carolina St.

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Miami vs. Virginia Tech

When: 2:00 p.m. ET ESPN

Spread: Virginia Tech -7.5

Over/Under: 137

In their two meeting this season, Virginia Tech handled Miami pretty handedly with scores of 82-70 and 84-70. Their last meeting was the last game of the season and Virginia Tech’s last game. So these teams are quite familiar with each other and haven’t had a lot of time to change or develop. Miami is coming off of a win against Wake Forest in the First Round of the ACC Tournament, winning 79-71. I think this is where their luck runs out.

This Virginia Tech team might be playing their best basketball all season. They recently beat Duke, and while that may not be totally crazy since Zion didn’t play, they still looked really good in that game. While Virginia Tech is still without senior point guard Justin Robinson, they have been able to lean against junior Kerry Blackshear and sophomore Nickeil Alexander-Walker. Both those guys have really come into their own and made Virginia Tech a force to recon with. Virginia Tech might have one of the best offenses in the country, shooting nearly 40% from behind the arc and around 56% from FG range. Also, if they go to the free throw line then they are almost guaranteeing points, with an average of 76.2% as a team. That is good enough to be one of the best in the country. Their defense is no slouch either, and Miami has really struggled against them all year.

That is why I don’t even think this is a question. Virginia Tech is winning this game pretty handedly, and they will likely beat the spread too.

Prediction: Virginia Tech 81 – 68 Miami

-Parmesan Don

@soft7parm

 

Wic Picks: Week 14- Championship Week

Here we go boys and girls. Week 14 A.K.A. Conference Championship week. This is where the best team in each conference plays a team who we are genuinely confused made it this far. Like Northwestern. Who knew those nerds were good at football? Their punter, Jake Collins, is pretty good, but he also got to party for 4 years at WKU. And Pitt. Are you serious? The college that gave us Nathan Peterman gets a say in who make the College Football Playoff? Give me a break. SEC won’t disappoint, Big 10 will be meh, Big 12 will have no defense, AAC will be close and the ACC may have a little surprise in store for us. Don’t bother watching the Pac 12 Championship.

Pac-12 Championship
17 Utah vs. 11 Washington:
WASH -5.5 
Levi Stadium- Santa Clara, CA

Friday, November 30, 2018 @ 8:00ET- FOX
Two 9-3 teams playing for a Power 5 championship. And the Pac-12 wonders why it gets no respect. Just the phrase “Utah football” makes me sleepy. The ever-underachieving Washington Huskies does not make this game any better. While the Big 12 refuses to play defense, the Pac-12 refuses to play offense (with the exception of Washington State). Every game is just me reevaluating my life and eventually turning on a Mountain West game so I can see a touchdown. Oh yeah, actually game analysis. I almost forgot. Washington is going to win. I find it very hard to choose the team that struggled against BYU. Utah didn’t lose, that’s Wisconsin’s thing, but the Utes definitely got exposed. Expect Jake Browning to be just mediocre enough as the Huskies cruise to a low-scoring win.
WASH: 24 UTAH: 14

ACC Championship
2 Clemson vs. Pittsburgh:
CLEM -27.5
Bank of America Stadium- Charlotte, NC
Saturday, December 1, 2018 @ 8:00ET- ABC

The ACC has got to be the laughing stock of the Power 5 conferences right now. I know I was hard on the Pac-12 last paragraph, but at least their championship involves two ranked teams. Instead, we have a joke of a title contender and a 7-5 disappointment. In almost all aspects of the game, it looks like Clemson is going to run away with this one and waltz into the playoff. Note that I said “almost”. I am here to remind you that Pitt is the Clemson Killer. Remember Clemson’s only loss the year they won the title? Yeah, it was to Nathan Peterman, James Conner and the Pittsburgh Panthers. Fun fact: Clemson has never beaten Pitt in a football game. Don’t expect anything new on Saturday. Pittstory repeats itself.
PITT: 43 CLEM: 42

Big 12 Championship
5 Oklahoma vs. 11 Texas:
OKLA -5.5
AT&T Stadium- Arlington Texas
Saturday, December 1, 2018 @ 12:00ET- ABC
The Pac-12 doesn’t play offense and the Big 12 doesn’t play defense. I know I have said this before, but here’s proof. The over/under for the Pac-12 Championship is 44.5 and the Big 12 Championship is 77.5. Yes, these are two objectively better teams, but the point holds. When it comes to Oklahoma, it seems like the over is never high enough. This rematch between the Sooners and the Longhorns is going to be a shootout. It absolutely was the first time these two teams met earlier this season. Texas won 48-45. Don’t expect anything different in terms of scoring. Unlike the first game, this one will go touchdown for touchdown. Punters need not apply. Kyler Murray is going to be out for vengeance, but Sam Ehlinger is going to try to ruin everything. Remember this is a rivalry game. Keeping their arch nemesis out of the Playoff is one of the most satisfying results this Texas team can get from this season. Now, what you should expect is a different winner from the first matchup. Oklahoma outlasts Texas. 
OKLA: 53 TEX: 47

SEC Championship
1 Alabama vs 4 Georgia:
BAMA -13.5
Mercedes-Benz Stadium- Atlanta, GA
Saturday, December 1, 2018 @ 4:00ET- CBS

This is not only the best game of the weekend, but also the most interesting. If the season were over today, both teams would be in the College Football Playoff. In a scenarios article I will post later, I will go into more depth about this, but both teams making the playoff is still possible. If Alabama wins (they will), then they make the playoff as the #1 and Georgia drops out. HOWEVVA *Stephen A. Smith voice* Alabama will get in even if they lose. But I wouldn’t worry about that scenario. While Georgia is very good and Fromm is one of the most efficient quarterbacks ever, there is no way they can keep up with Bama. If we learned anything from UGA’s loss to LSU, it is that they fall apart versus teams that can throw. Alabama has a guy who has been known to throw around the pigskin pretty well named Tua. I expect a gentleman’s blowout in this one.
BAMA: 41 UGA: 20

Big 10 Championship
6 Ohio State vs 21 Northwestern:
OSU -14.5
Lucas Oil Stadium- Indianapolis, IN
Saturday, December 1, 2018 @ 8:00ET- FOX
You never know which Ohio State team is going to show up. Will they get blown out by an unranked opponent, give up 51 to an unranked team, or blow out a national title contender? That’s what makes this game the best of the 8:00 games. Regardless of the score, Dwayne Haskins will have a silent 500 yards and 5 touchdowns. Just kinda what he does. Ohio State plays their best when something is on the line. There was something last week and we saw how that played out. Now a chance at the playoffs are on the line, so i expect big things. Buckeyes roll over the nerds and keep their hopes alive. 
OSU: 38 NU:17

AAC Championship
8 UCF vs. Memphis:
UCF -3.0
Spectrum Stadium- Orlando, FL
Saturday, December 1, 2018 @ 3:30ET- ABC
The first time these teams played, UCF won 31-30. Now this rematch carries way more than just a chance at an undefeated season. This is UCF’s chance at the Playoff, their potential title claim, and the only time they can show the CFP Selection Committee that they can win without McKenzie Milton. Expect a huge game from UCF running back Greg McCrae. UCF wins the title yet again.
UCF: 29 MEM: 25

Mountain West Championship
22 Boise State vs. 25 Fresno State:
BSU -2.5
Albertsons Stadium- Boise, ID
Saturday, December 1, 2018 @ 7:45ET- ESPN
I gotta be honest, I will not be watching this game and I don’t know anything about either team. All I know is that it will be more exciting than the Pac-12 championship game. Boise State won the first matchup this season, 24-17, and I have no reason to expect anything different this time around. I hear Bronco QB Brett Rypien is pretty good so I’ll say he throws for 350 yards and 3 TD’s. Sound good?
BSU: 33 FRES: 24