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Published: Tue, March 14, 2017
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Louisville vs. Jacksonville State - 3/17/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Louisville vs. Jacksonville State - 3/17/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

"You don't know what you don't know".

The Spartans use four freshmen and three sophomores.

Josh Hart, Villanova: A tough wing player who can score in multiple ways, Hart leads the reigning NCAA champion with 18.9 points per game. The first thing I always look at is, 'They say, who would you like to play?' And I always say, 'Who has the least amount of bigs?' If somebody has four of them, that's a problem for us. Miami has some big physical guys. This season's bid to the NCAA Tournament is the 12th overall for Beilein and his 11th at the Division I level. However, it's something the Spartans (19-14) haven't done well all season. Drake has won 22 games in a row, the second-longest active streak behind the Huskies.

Kansas' Jackson, a Detroit native, chose Kansas over Michigan State.

Tom Izzo's boss was the head of the NCAA Tournament selection committee this season. Still, this is one of those matchups you look at the underdog and think they've got a chance. "It goes so fast, and you've got to... you're not going to reinvent the wheel this week". Those defensive numbers should light up Derrick Walton's eyes, especially with how effectively the Wolverines attacked in transition during their time at the Big Ten Tournament. They combine to shoot 40.7 percent from the field, with all three below 41.3 percent for the year. There wasn't another game the next day. The Spartans earned a 9 seed in the Midwest Region and will face no. 8 Miami in their first game Friday.

"We played as well as anybody in our league and maybe the country the last two weeks", K-State coach Bruce Weber said. The first four front court players (Jaylen Johnson, Mangok Mathiang, Ray Spalding and Anas Mahmoud) give Louisville flexibility in the paint. He's played with his share of strong senior personalities, from Travis Trice and Branden Dawson to Denzel Valentine and Matt Costello. Is there really much else that needs to be said?

And that's the difference for this group.

Ellis played in the Elite Eight as a freshman in 2014 and in the Final Four a year later. His team was left by the side of the road for dead when it fell to 4-6 in the Big Ten after a home loss to Ohio State.

"It won't be the biggest accomplishment we've had and it will not go down with many of our fans as a real accomplishment, but ... sometime from now maybe I'll have a better appreciation for what they've gone through and what they've done".

The Jayhawks are dancing into their 28 straight tournament appearance. "I wouldn't think. I guess someday there is a possibility I might find out because my AD (Mark Hollis) is part of it".

Of course, the Spartans could enter their game on Friday with the flawless mental approach and it still could go poorly. They like to get up and down the court and will be extra motivated for an in-state rival. One could give Pitino a few practice sessions with some elderly church ladies from the basement kitchen and he would make them competitive. I'm going (rock) chalk in the Midwest. "The sense of urgency that they haven't had to have most of their life, it has to change". Louisville doesn't have a hands-down, go-to guy on the offensive end who can take the ball and go to work.

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