#7 Florida vs. #4 Louisville Elite 8 Predictions for 3/24/12

Last Updated: March 24th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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Either the Florida Gators or the Louisville Cardinals are going to claim the first spot in the Final Four on Saturday, and we are going to try to nail down the winner of this one with our Elite 8 picks to start the weekend.

2012 Elite 8 Matchup: #7 Florida Gators vs. #4 Louisville Cardinals
West Region Location: US Airways Center, Phoenix, AZ
Elite 8 Date/Time: Saturday, March 24th, 4:30 p.m.
Wisconsin vs. Louisville Television Coverage: CBS

Key #1: It’s all about the intensity
You aren’t going to find two teams that go at it on either side of the floor with the intensity that the Gators and the Cardinals bring to the table. This is the exact matchup that we were hoping to see, because Head Coaches Billy Donovan and Rick Pitino both get the most out of their players. Are these two teams amongst the most talented eight in the land? Probably not. However, there is no reason to think that either of these teams are going to back down right now. The pressure that is going to be put on both of these teams with full court pressure and the offenses that try to get up and go, and the team that wins this one very well could be the one that has the more intense runs of the two.

Elite 8 Odds at Wager Web Sportsbook
Florida Gators -1.5
Louisville Cardinals +1.5
Over/Under 131.5
Click Here to Bet Your Elite 8 Picks!

Key #2: Gorgui Dieng has to have a huge game
What really made the difference in Florida’s win over the Marquette Golden Eagles is that the team found a way to take the Marquette big men out of the equation. It goes without saying that the Gators are a group that love to run and do so with at least three, and usually four guards on the court. Dieng is the big man that can really do a lot on both sides of the court. You might look at the five points that Dieng had against the Michigan State Spartans and think that he had a bad game. Then look closer at the box score. He had nine boards, seven blocks, and three steals and altered a slew of what MSU tried to get done. We know what Florida does; this is a team that loves to drive the ball and kick it out to the perimeter and take three point shots if the layup or short jumper isn’t open. Dieng can change all of that when push comes to shove, and he should be able to throw his body around. If he does that and stays out of foul trouble, UF had better hope that it is hitting its outside shots without all that many difficulties, or it will be in a lot of trouble.

Key #3: It’s time for Kenny Boynton to play like a veteran
Boynton only had 11 points in the Sweet 16 against Marquette, and he has been wildly inconsistent in the postseason. He only had two points against the Kentucky Wildcats in the SEC Tournament Final, and he had just eight against the Virginia Cavaliers. That being said, he also had 20 against the Norfolk State Spartans. This is a man that averages 16.0 points per game and shoots 41.1 percent from beyond the arc. There is a lot of pressure on Boynton, though there has been a heck of a lot of production from Bradley Beal and the others. We just don’t know if that’s going to be able to keep up in the rest of this tournament. The Gators really need their leader to play like one.

Click Here to get the best March Madness picks that you’ll find on the internet, including our NCAA Tournament picks and the Elite 8 picks for the rest of the NCAA Tournament game odds.

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Posted in NCAA Basketball - Last Updated on Saturday, March 24th, 2012 @ 2:02 am (EST)
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