Northern Kentucky Norse (22-9, 8-5 Away) at Louisville Cardinals (20-13, 14-5 Home)
Tuesday, March 13th, 2018, KFC Yum! Center
NIT: First Round
After missing out on the NCAA Tournament, the next tier of teams will now compete in the NIT. The tournament, which finishes at Madison Square Garden in a few weeks, will kick off on Tuesday with nine games on the schedule. Our game, Northern Kentucky versus Louisville, is probably the most notable and will tip-off at 7 P.M ET. You can watch the game on ESPN.
NKU Happy To Be In NIT
While some teams may not value their spot in the NIT, you can bet that Northern Kentucky is not one of them. They just entered the Division-1 level in 2012–13 and are looking to make a name for themselves. Last year, they shocked everyone and appeared in the Big Dance but this year, they just fell short. With that said, they had a rockin’ season and actually finished with the best conference record among Horizon League teams. Because of that honor, the Norse were given an automatic bid to the NIT with the rest of the regular-season conference champions who didn’t win their conference tournament or receive an at-large bid.
Tournament-wise, the Norse are no strangers to making runs. Earlier this year, the program played in The Island of Bahamas Showcase and finished №2 out of eight teams. (They lost to Vermont in the championship game).
NKU has a clean bill of health for Tuesday’s contest.
Will Louisville Be Engaged?
What a season for the Louisville Cardinals, and not exactly in a good way. The program has dealt with a number of controversies this year — most notably the one before the season which resulted in the ouster of their head coach, Rick Pitino. In addition to that, the Cardinals blew a five-point lead with 11 seconds left against №1 Virginia in their penultimate regular-season conference game. Had they held on and beat Virginia, it’s realistic to believe they would have received an at-large bid in the Big Dance.
But wait, there’s more! The Louisville Cardinals didn’t even want to play in the NIT. Per Deadspin, prior to the ACC Tournament, the team voted on skipping the NIT if they didn’t make the NCAA Tournament. However, the interim athletic director accepted the invitation.
With that said, they’re playing in the game and will have all their weapons available. It remains to be seen what type of effort they’re going to give.
- 3-1 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
- 14-6-1 ATS in their last 21 road games.
- 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games with 4+ days rest.
The NIT, which wraps up at Madison Square Garden in a few weeks, will kick off on Tuesday with nine games on the schedule. Our game, Northern Kentucky at Louisville, is probably the most notable contest of the night and will tip-off at 7 P.M ET. You can watch the game on ESPN.
Knowing what we know, it’s hard to roll with anyone but the Norse. I say that because they actually want to be playing. The Cardinals, on the other hand, are a big-time program who is used to competing for bigger prizes; expect them to come out flat. Plus, you can’t imagine much of a crowd. Like the team, they want bigger things. Take the points!