2013 Sweet 16 Predictions: Oregon vs. Louisville March Madness

Last Updated: March 24th, 2013 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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Oregon MascotFriday night in Indianapolis, the top seed in the Midwest Region, the Louisville Cardinals will take on one of the upstarts of the tournament, the Oregon Ducks. Our March Madness predictions are set to take place here at Bankroll Sports, as we analyze the keys to the game so you can make your Oregon vs. Louisville picks. Join us for the three most pressing factors that are going to help determine which one of these two teams is going to get to the Elite Eight and just one step away from the Final Four in Atlanta.

March Madness: Oregon Ducks vs. Louisville Cardinals
Oregon vs. Louisville Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Oregon vs. Louisville Date/Time: Friday, March 29th, 7:15 p.m. ET
March Madness Television Coverage: CBS

Key #1: Dominic Artis has to get healthy
We’re starting to wonder if Artis really is ever going to be healthy this year for the Ducks. He hasn’t truly been a major factor in games, especially down the stretch ever since going out with an ankle injury at the outset of the Pac-12 season. Now, he is going to be in the thick of the fight against one of the most talented backcourts in the country. The Ducks have been fortunate to get good contributions from G Johnathan Loyd over the course of the middle of the Pac-12 campaign, and Loyd played well during the Pac-12 Tournament as well. However, he has only scored a total of 14 points and has a total of nine assists against nine turnovers here in the dance thus far, and that isn’t going to cut it. Either Loyd has to be a whole heck of a lot better, or Artis has to prove that he can be on the court and be productive with the game on the line, or the Ducks are in a lot of trouble.

Oregon vs. Louisville Odds at Diamond Sportsbook
#12 Oregon Ducks +10
#1 Louisville Cardinals -10
Over/Under 128.5
Click Here to Bet Your Sweet 16 Picks!

Key #2: Gorgui Dieng has to go back to being a dominating star
All of a sudden over the course of these last few games, Dieng has sort of disappeared in the Louisville rotation. He only has a total of 20 points and 10 rebounds in two games here in the NCAA Tournament, and he just isn’t getting the shot opportunities in the paint that he is used to getting. Part of Dieng’s game is getting the ball in the paint and dominating. We know that here in the dance, those opportunities are going to be fewer and farther between, especially with the way that the three-point shots get jacked up on both sides of the court. However, Dieng is still the one man that few can match up with in this entire country. He had a tough draw against Colorado State on Saturday, and he is going to have a rough one as well against F Arsalan Kazemi, who had eight points and 16 boards in the third round against a very tough Saint Louis outfit. However, Head Coach Rick Pitino cannot lose sight of the fact that he has as talented of a big man as there is in the country, and Dieng needs to be a big part of the game plan to win this one.

Diamond Sportsbook

Key #3: The Ducks have to capitalize on their trips to the line
Just getting to the charity stripe is a tough task when you’re playing a team like Louisville. However, in the third round on Saturday, the Cardinals committed a total of 24 fouls in spite of the fact that the game was largely a blowout, especially in the second half. As a result, Colorado State went to the free throw line 21 times. Oregon has generally had a degree of success at the stripe over the course of the season, knocking down right around 71% of its chances. However, here in the NCAA Tournament, the Ducks are shooting just 64.9% from the foul line. Oregon isn’t going to be able to keep up the torrid pace that it is shooting three-pointers at right now (48.5% for the tourney), but what it can control is the way that it is shooting foul shots. There is no doubt that this is a team that is going to need to put together every point that it can possibly find. Leaving too many points on the board will certainly result in disaster against a team that it is tough enough to score on in the first place.

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Posted in NCAA Basketball - Last Updated on Sunday, March 24th, 2013 @ 1:35 am (EST)
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