Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

NCAA Early First Round Predictions

Published on March 17, 2011 by   ·   No Comments

Now that I have a chance to work on this for an hour, I will start to do more then one game per post. I just wanted to be able to get the first couple of predictions in before the games actually started.

13 Morehead State vs 4 Louisville

The Louisville Cardinals (25-9) will take on Morehead State Eagles (24-9) from the Ohio Valley Conference in a match of 4 vs 13 seeds in the Southewest Region. Louisville is currently favored in this game by 10 1/2 points.


Louisville lost to Uconn in the Big East tournament finals by 3 points. The Cardinals are a team that is on a bit of a roll. They did very well down the stretch against some very tough Big East opponents.

louisville-vs-morehead-stateLouisville has been to the tournament the last 5 years and 8 of the last 9. They are 5-2 in first round matchups over the last 10 years. Last season, the 9 seed Cardinals lost to California in the first round. They advanced to the Elite 8 the previous 2 years before.

The Ohio Valley conference as a whole is 4-27 in NCAA tournament games and the conference has won 1 game in the last 10 years. Morehead State went to the tournament once in the past 10 years, in 2009 as a 16 seed.

This isn’t going to be a matter of “if Louisville will win” but by how much. Morehead State played two games against tournament teams (Florida and Ohio State). They were blown out by OSU and kept it close against Florida.

The key to this game is going to be Louisville’s ball movement. They are 3rd in the country with over 17 assists per game. Meanwhile, Morehead State has problems in that area and are in the bottom third of the nation.

This is a very tough call on the spread. If Louisville plays like they are capable of playing, they should win by 20 points. However, top teams can take the small conferences lightly and be in for a closer game at the end. I think that this game will end very near the 10 1/2 spread. The final score will be 81-71.

10 Penn State vs 7 Temple

Whatever the under is on this game, it should be lower. Both of these teams know how to slow the game way down. Penn State won a 36-33 game in the Big Ten tournament over Wisconsin. The Owls play the way they always do.


Penn State (19-14) finished the season on a tear. They were an afterthought for the NCAA tournament a week ago. Then they won three straight conference tournament games and game Ohio State a lot to handle in the Finals. They have won 7 of 10 games coming into the tournament. The last time the Nittany Lions made the NCAA tournament was 10 years ago when they went to the Sweet 16 in 2001.

penn-state-vs-templeTemple (25-7) finished the A-10 second overall in conference play behind Xavier. They made it to the conference semi-finals and lost to the eventual champ Richmond. Temple has won 12 of their last 14 games coming into the tournament.

The Owls are going to the NCAA tournament for the third straight years. They are 0-3 in the past three trips to the big dance. 5 seed Temple lost to Cornell last year. The 11 seed Owls lost to Arizona State in 2009 and 12 seed Temple lost to Michigan State in 2008.

Temple usually wins these types of games. The Owls need this win more than Penn State, who is happy just to make the tournament out of no where. This game was originally set as a pick’em but has now shifted to Temple being favored by 2 1/2 points. This game could go either way, but I think that Temple will win by the score of 55-51.

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