NCAA Basketball American Athletic Conference BasketballAtlantic 10 BasketballLouisville CardinalsMarch MadnessSaint Louis Billikens

2014 NCAA Tournament Preview: No. 4 Louisville vs. No. 5 Saint Louis

Louisville basketball

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Both the Louisville Cardinals and Saint Louis Billikens were on the verge of being eliminated in the round of 64, but both teams prevailed. They will battle it out in the round of 32.

Louisville entered their first NCAA tournament game pretty hot. However, the Cardinals could only manage a seven-point victory over No. 13 seed Manhattan.

As for the Billikens, they lost four out of five entering their contest with the North Carolina State Wolfpack. NC State probably should have won, but good teams find ways to win and that is exactly what Saint Louis managed to do in overtime.

What to Watch For

Russ Smith will more than likely not win the Naismith this year, but he is still one of the best players in college basketball. He is averaging 18.3 points per game and 4.7 assists per game on the season. Saying he is a big part of Louisville’s offense is a huge understatement.

Jordair Jett and Dwayne Evans are the two best players on the Billikens, but it is Rob Loe who led the team in scoring against the Wolfpack with 22 points. A good outing out of Loe would be very helpful, but Evans and Jett have to come ready to play against the defending national champs.

Prediction

This should be a close one, but Louisville is built to win a national championship. Look for Russ Smith to have a big game and the Cardinals to pull away down the stretch.

Louisville 73 Saint Louis 66

Trevor Lowry is a Senior Writer and Copy Editor at RantSports.com. If you’re a tweeter feel free to follow him @TheTrevorLowry or add him to your network on Google.