The Louisville Cardinals finished the 2013 – 14 college basketball season by defeating the Connecticut Huskies in the American Athletic Conference in their first and only year as a member of the AAC. Expecting at least a top three seed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament, the Cardinals will be shocked to have received the No. 4 seed in the Midwest region. However, Louisville still faces a fairly easy second-round matchup on March 20th in Orlando, Florida, against the No. 14 seeded Manhattan Jaspers.
Manhattan cruised to the MAAC Championship game and then won a close one over the regular season title holders, the Iona Gaels. By winning, the Jaspers stole the automatic berth in the 2014 NCAA Tournament, but have to be disappointed at being matched up against an angry Louisville team. George Beamon is a great player for Manhattan, but he’s going to need the game of his life if the Jaspers are to stand even a slight chance of an upset.
What to Watch For
Louisville is a legitimate National Championship contender. They were robbed by the Selection Committee by being given a No. 4 seed, but will benefit in the long run, because they should easily advance to the Sweet Sixteen. Watch for Russ Smith and Montrezl Harrell to come out mad and focused, providing the first blowout of the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
I like Manhattan matched up with some of the other top five seeded teams in the 2014 NCAA Tournament, but Louisville is a No. 1 seed quality team. Expect the Cardinals to win big.
Louisville 75, Manhattan 57