Motivation & Smothering Defense Makes Louisville Our NCAA Basketball Against Georgia Tech in Tonight's ACC Clash

Joe Gavazzi

Monday, February 23, 2015 5:11 PM GMT

Monday, Feb. 23, 2015 5:11 PM GMT

Our expert college basketball handicapper previews this matchup between Louisville vs. Georgia Tech. Read on to see which team he picks and the reasoning behind it. 

Louisville (-4) vs. Georgia Tech 7:00 ET ESPN
The Louisville Cardinals travel to Georgia Tech for a 7:00 ET Big Monday meeting on ESPN and are listed at -6.5 on the NCAA basketball odds. It is the first meeting of the year for these teams and first since Louisville became a member of the ACC this season. Georgia Tech has played down to expectations this season, while Louisville, as a Top 15 team, is struggling to gain a Top 4 seed in the upcoming CCT. Let’s take a look at these two teams to determine the pointspread winner of this game.

Not much was expected from Georgia Tech this season, as they were picked to finish 13th in the league, exactly where they stand today! Under the 4th year of HC Brian Gregory, the Yellow Jackets have yet to record a winning season. It is unlikely it happens this year. The Jackets are clearly an offensive team who is mediocre at best.  They average just 64 PPG on 41% shooting, including just 27 triples (only 4 per game).  They knock down just 67% from the stripe and dish out only 11 assists per game. On Saturday, this bureau used a Top of the Ticket play on N. Carolina against this Georgia Tech team in an 89-60 romp. Doubtful this team can turn it around in just 48 hours, when facing the stifling defense of Louisville.  But, before you take off the rubber band, note that Tech has played competitively in the ACC games on this court, standing 2-5 SU but 4-3 ATS with no loss by more than 4 points. 

Enter Louisville who kept their ACC hopes alive with a come from behind (55-53) home court win over Miami, FL on Saturday. The Cards trailed much of the game before pulling it out at the end.  It is clear they miss Chris Jones, their high scoring guard who has been dismissed from the program for personal reasons. Look for that move by 14th year veteran HC Pitino to send a message to this team inspiring them to play one of their best games of the season. Pitino has not tried to fool anyone, when he has admitted this is one of his poorest offensive teams in a number of years. The stats confirm that, as Louisville shoots just 43% from the field and 30% from the arc. Nevertheless, expect the lockdown Louisville defense to be the premier unit on the court tonight.The Cards’ defense allows just 59 PPG on 37% shooting, 29% from the arc, while forcing 15 TOs per game.

Inspired by Pitino’s gutsy move to dismiss Jones, look for a motivated Louisville team to play one of their best games of the year, using their smothering defense and greater athleticism to put the clamps on an impotent Tech offense, leading to a comfortable double digit victory for your college basketball picks. Please note that Pitino is one of the best road coaches in CBKB with a record of 86-59 ATS on the road.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Take Louisville at Bookmaker

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