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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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Elite 8 Betting Odds Michigan State Spartans vs Louisville Cardinals Free Pick

The Michigan State Spartans and Louisville Cardinals meet up today in the first Elite Eight game for Sunday. The game is scheduled for a 2:20 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on CBS. Currently the betting odds for the game have Michigan State favored by a couple of points to pick up the win an advance.

The winner of today's game between Michigan State and Louisville will be marching onto the Final Four. Michigan State lost in this Elite Eight round last season to eventual champion Connecticut, but this year they're favored to get to the Final Four and contend for a national championship.

This matchup between coaching legends Tom Izzo and Rick Pitino is great for college basketball. Both have won national titles before and one could potentially get to play for another if they are able to get past either Duke or Gonzaga in the next round. First things first, though, this matchup today between a couple of great teams should be a good one to watch.

Louisville plays great defense, ranking fifth nationally in adjusted efficiency. Only the Cardinals and Kentucky are left of the teams ranked inside the Top 25 in defensive efficiency, giving them an edge on that end of the floor in this game against Michigan State. The Spartans have been playing solid basketball to this point in the tournament, led by Travis Trice. The sharp-shooting guard has poured in 23 and 24 points, respectively, in the team's last two victories. 

Denzel Valentine had a huge game against Oklahoma, hitting big shots and hauling in rebounds. The Sooner weren't be able to keep MSU off the boards in key times down the stretch, but finished with more rebounds than the Spartans did, which doesn't happen much against Izzo teams.

Louisville's Montrezl Harrell against Branden Dawson on the blocks is going to be a great matchup. Both are the motors for their respective teams and are ferocious on the defensive end of the floor, which makes the battle even more important. A Cardinal win would put them in their third Final Four in the last four seasons, and if they win it's going to be a low-scoring game.

This game played in the 60s gives an edge to Louisville. The Cardinals are great on the defensive end of the floor, and that will show up big in this game today. As good as Michigan State has been so far this tournament, the Louisville team will match their intensity and play better on the defensive side of the floor. That plays a big part in this game today.

Free Pick: Louisville 64, Michigan State 60

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  • Journalist living in West Michigan. Inaugural "Who's The Man" contest winner at Pregame.com.

Journalist living in West Michigan. Inaugural "Who's The Man" contest winner at Pregame.com.

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