NCAA Tournament: overview, boise state preview
By Mike Gilpatrick
March 13th, 2018
March 13th, 2018
The bracket has been set. There’s now a clear path to the Final Four.
The Louisville Cardinals will host the first two rounds of the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Louisville is the No. 1 seed in the Lexington regional. The seeding was announced yesterday during the selection show.
Louisville is in a tough bracket. Baylor and Tennessee are the No. 2 and 3 seeds. The Cardinals faced both teams in 2017’s tournament. Louisville defeated Tennessee 75-64 in the round of 32 and were shelled by Baylor 97-63 in the Sweet 16.
A rematch of one of those games will likely occur in the Elite-8. Louisville won’t face both, however. If there aren’t any major upsets, then UT and Baylor will square off in the Sweet-16.
If the Cards do make the Elite-8, and square off against the Bears, it would be a huge revenge game. The game is in Lexington; and would feel like a home game.
But first, Louisville must survive the first two rounds to make it to Lexington.
Their first game is against No. 16 Boise State, Friday at Noon.
The Broncos enter Louisville at 23-9 (14-4). They have a good defense, but a less-than-stellar offense. The Broncos allow 61.4 and score 69.2. Most of their offense is from Riley Lupfer and Marta Hermida. Both women have started all 32 games, along with Shalen Shaw. Lupfer averages 16.4 points, and is Boise State’s main three-point threat. Hermida isn’t a great shooter. She hits 36.6 percent, and 24.6 from deep. Hermida does have some great qualities as a point guard, however. She leads the team in assists, and generates a good deal of steals.
Shalen Shaw is Boise State’s main threat off the glass. She generates seven rebounds a game, and leads the team in steals. She also puts up 23 blocks a game.
Louisville shouldn’t have much of a problem getting past the Broncos. Boise State doesn’t have a high-power offense, and is 111th in RPI. The Cardinals will overpower the Broncos with a high-tempo offense, and suffocating defense.
After Boise State, Louisville will square off against the winner of Marquette and Dayton; to reach the Sweet-16, and likely Missouri or Stanford.